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Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Sundar Pichai — these are among the few names in the tech industry that command a larger-than-life celebrity status. These titans have shaped the way we interact with technology today.
Here, we bring to you the lesser-known information about these tech titans. Not many know that these tech biggies have immensely successful siblings who are busy making a mark in the industry and adding value in their own unique ways. From innovative startups to established ventures, the kin are making waves in the kingdom, proving that when it comes to innovation and leadership, excellence truly runs in the blood.
Elon is no stranger to the tech world. Similarly, his brother Kimbal is a star in the food world. Kimbal Musk is a chef, restaurateur, and philanthropist, whose personal mission is an America where everyone has access to real food. He was named a Global Social Entrepreneur by the World Economic Forum.
According to Kimbal, “He (Elon) is a savant when it comes to business, but his gift is not empathy”. Kimbal is on the board for Tesla and SpaceX and the co-founder of the Kitchen Restaurant Group, a collection of “community” restaurants located in Colorado, Chicago, and Indianapolis.
Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI and the new darling of Silicon Valley has been in the limelight for a while now but information on his personal life has largely been uncharted. His brother, Jack Altman, an author, is also the CEO & co-founder of Lattice AI, a performance management and engagement platform. Jack attended Princeton University with an undergraduate degree in economics and then started his career as an analyst at Gleacher & Co.
A year later in 2012, Jack founded Hydrazine Capital, a venture capital firm with his brother Sam. The organisation focused on investing in early-stage technology companies and ceased operations in 2014 after making several investments and two exits.
In 2015, Chennai’s Sundar Pichai was appointed the next CEO of Alphabet, the group which owns Google. Pichai grew up in an Indian middle-class family and was mostly interested in books as a child. The Google leader has a younger brother named Srinivasan Pichai about whom not much information has been made public.
Srinivasan started his career as a consultant in 2010. Today, he is a manager at DURR, a leading mechanical and plant engineering firm.
AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio is known for his work in deep learning, earning him the 2018 AM Turing Award ‘the Nobel Prize of Computing’. His younger brother Samy Bengio has been working in machine learning for almost the same amount of time away from Montreal in California.
Currently, Samy is the senior director, AI and machine learning research at Apple Machine Learning. Previously, he worked at Google Brain but resigned after the Timnit Gebru episode. He has authored above 250 scientific papers in machine learning as per DBLP. He also worked on the first evidence that adversarial examples can exist in the real world.
Not everything in the tech landscape is run by tech bros. Earlier this year, Susan Wojcicki stepped down from her role as CEO of YouTube after working for almost a decade. Currently, she serves in an advisory role to Google and Alphabet. Her younger sister Anne Wojcicki is the CEO of 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer DNA testing company founded in 2006.
In 2013, Fast Company named Anne ‘The Most Daring CEO’. She is a co-founder and board member of the Breakthrough Prize. She was married to Google co-founder Sergrey Brin until they got divorced in 2015.
English physicist and author Stephen Wolfram is best known for his contributions to AI. He created Mathematica, WolframAlpha and the Wolfram language.
Stephen founded Wolfram research, along with his younger brother Conrad, in 1991. Conrad is a British technologist and entrepreneur famous for his work in IT and mathematical education reform. In 2010, Conrad founded computerbasedmath.org. A decade later, he released The Math(s) Fix: An Education Blueprint for the AI Age which exposes why educationally, mathematics is in crisis worldwide.
In an exclusive interaction with AIM, Conrad jokingly said, “It’s often said about me that I am the updated, newer and younger version of Stephen. We have spent many years building intelligent computation with lots of automation so that more and more people can use the power of computation to make better decisions. At the end that’s what it is all about.”
Over the course of more than four decades, the brothers have been responsible for many discoveries, inventions and innovations in science, technology and business.
Schmidhuber is not an anonymous name in the AI community, but Juergen is not the only name for the family in the artificial intelligence game. His brother Christoph is a theoretical physicist-turned-finance guru. Before he made the field switch, Christoph’s research and thesis at the California Institute of Technology focused on string theory.
For almost the past two decades, Christoph has been professionally pursuing asset management, risk management and team leadership.