One of the cofounders of Google’s buzzy in-house AI company DeepMind once partied with Elon Musk as the Tesla cofounder celebrated his birthday on board the Orient Express, a new book reveals.
The Tesla CEO’s 40th birthday party in June 2011 saw the likes of Google cofounder Sergey Brin and other Silicon Valley high fliers reportedly attend the overnight railway trip from Paris to Venice.
On arriving in the city on water, according to the Financial Times, Musk – a DeepMind investor – hosted a “post-apocalyptic masquerade ball” at a massive palazzo on the Grand Canal.
In his new book, “Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook and the World”, New York Times tech reporter Cade Metz reveals one of DeepMind’s own cofounders was also along for the ride.
“[Suleyman] was a hipster who prided himself on knowing all the best bars and restaurants, whether in London or New York,” he wrote. “When Elon Musk celebrated his fortieth birthday aboard the Orient Express, Suleyman was the DeepMind founder that joined the rolling Bacchanalia.”
Guests are said to have attended the masked ball in black tie wear, shortly before an American circus troupe – flown over for the occasion – performed for guests.
Musk has since held more modest birthday celebrations. In 2018 he described his 47th birthday as an isolated, stressful experience. Rather than celebrating with friends or family, Musk said, he was holed up at Tesla’s offices for a full 24 hours, overseeing the delayed production on the company’s Model 3 sedan.
“All night — no friends, nothing,” he said.
Suleyman would go on to leave DeepMind in 2019 for another AI role within Google, after an internal investigation related to accusations of bullying.