Elon Musk’s biography, written by Walter Isaacson, is out and it offers a behind-the-curtain look into the lifestyle and business of the world’s richest man. The book, simply titled ‘Elon Musk’, charts the billionaire’s journey from “humble beginning to one of the wealthiest people on the planet”. It also provides insight into familiar episodes in recent history, including Mr Musk’s secret children and his founding of an artificial intelligence startup called xAI.
Now, here are some of the highlights of the book ‘Elon Musk’:
Elon Musk’s secret third child with Grimes
According to the Wall Street Journal, the biography reveals how the billionaire and his ex-girlfriend Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, secretly had a third child. They named the baby boy, birthed by a surrogate mother last year, Techno Mechanicus Musk. However, not much is known about him or when he was born, and his identity has been a closely guarded secret.
Mr Musk now has 10 known biological children with three different women. He also had another son, Nevada, who died at 10 weeks.
Elon Musk’s secret twins with Neuralink executive Shivon Zilis
In the book, Walter Isaacson describes what happened when two other Mr Musk children were born to Ms Zilis. She wanted children and was encouraged by the billionaire’s thinking on the importance of procreation to fight population declines. Mr Musk offered to be the sperm donor, and their twins were born in 2021. The twins were born via IVF, a few days before Mr Musk welcomed his second child with Canadian singer Grimes.
Elon Musk’s AI company xAI
As per the book, Mr Musk’s decision to start xAI came partly out of concerns about underpopulation. “The amount of human intelligence, he noted, was leveling off because people were not having enough children. Meanwhile, the amount of computer intelligence was going up exponentially,” Mr Isaacson writes. Mr Musk believed that “at some point, biological brainpower would be dwarfed by digital brainpower.”
He gave the early employees three goals: Create an AI chatbot capable of writing code, an AI chatbot trained to be politically neutral and an artificial intelligence that could reason and pursue truth. “You should be able to give it big tasks, such as ‘Build a better rocket engine,'” the tech billionaire told Mr Isaacson.
Elon Musk bullied as a child
According to the description of the book, when Elon Musk was a kid in South Africa, he was regularly beaten by bullies. One day a group pushed him down some concrete steps and kicked him until his face was a swollen ball of flesh. He was in the hospital for a week. But the physical scars were minor compared to the emotional ones inflicted by his father, an engineer, rogue and charismatic fantasist.
Elon Musk’s relationship with his father
In the book, Mr Isaacson writes that his relationship with his father Errol Musk is a source of trauma that remains with him. “He developed into a tough yet vulnerable man-child with an exceedingly high tolerance for risk, a craving for drama, an epic sense of mission, and a maniacal intensity that was callous and at times destructive,” the description reads.
As per the book, when Mr Musk agreed in 2016 to meet his father, from whom he has been largely estranged, a friend recalls to Mr Isaacson, “It was the only time I had ever seen Elon’s hands shaking.” Mr Isaacson writes, “There are certain people who occupy a demon’s corner of Musk’s head space. They trigger him, turn him dark, and rouse a cold anger. His father is number one”.