Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and the richest man in the world, welcomed twins with a Neuralink executive last year, Business Insider revealed on Wednesday.
According to documents obtained by Business Insider, Musk secretly fathered the children with Shivon Zilis, who works for Musk at a company that aspires to create an implantable computer chip for the human brain. Musk, who boasted on May 24 that the “USA birth rate has been below min sustainable levels for 50 years,” quietly fathered the children with Zilis.
The outlet got court documents relating to the children’s legal names being changed to include Zilis as part of the middle names and the Musk last name. CNN Business was unable to independently verify the information in the documents, but a Travis County, Texas court docket it had access to showed that the name change petition had been submitted in April 2022 and approved in early May, which corresponds to the dates on the documents made public by Business Insider.
These records, which designate Musk as the father and Zilis as the mother, also include the court’s seal and Musk’s signature. Requests for comment made to representatives of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink did not receive an instant response from Musk.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Zilis started working with Musk at least in April 2016 when she joined OpenAI as an advisor. The nonprofit research facility OpenAI, the whose stated goal is to “guarantee that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” was founded by Musk and other individuals.
Musk staged a live-streamed presentation in August 2020 to demonstrate the development of Neuralink’s technology, which it has already implanted in a pig. Nearly a year later, Neuralink claimed that after having its chips implanted in monkeys’ brains, the animals could play Pong. However, Neuralink has now been forced to respond to questions about its testing procedures, refuting accusations of animal cruelty while announcing earlier this year that monkeys have died during testing.
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As of May 2017, Zilis worked for both Tesla and Neuralink, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is currently a director of operations and special projects at Neuralink. Zilis joined the OpenAI board in 2020. Prior to working for firms led by Musk, Zilis held positions at IBM and a Bloomberg venture capital fund, which helped her make the Forbes 30 under 30 lists for venture capital in 2015. She has also held board positions with at least two other organizations focused on artificial intelligence. An inquiry for comment from Zilis was not immediately answered.
This is the second set of twins that Musk is thought to have fathered at this time. In 2004, Musk and his first wife, Justine, welcomed twins; two years later, they welcomed triplets. (The couple’s marriage, which lasted from 2000 to 2008, ended in the death of their first child; in 2010, novelist Justine notably wrote about what it was like to be married to Musk and then get divorced for Marie Claire magazine.) Later, musician Claire Boucher, also known as Grimes, had two children with Musk. Through a surrogate, their second child was delivered in December 2021.
Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.