Blackstone CEO celebrates MIT donation with robot-themed party
Private equity titan Stephen Schwarzman celebrated his $350 million donation to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study artificial intelligence with a robot-themed party at his prestigious Park Avenue pad.
The Blackstone billionaire, a close adviser to President Donald Trump, has given a huge anchor donation to MIT for a new college to harness and understand the power of AI, which will ultimately be backed by $1 billion in funding.
The very sober-sounding MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, announced in October, will create 50 new faculty positions and fellowships for multiple graduate students beginning next fall.
So what better way to celebrate a successful 2018 and the holidays than with a robot-themed bacchanalian bash? Stephen and wife Christine lit up their 740 Park Ave. pad in late December with laser-flashing, futuristic, dancing power robots firing dry ice from dual machine guns, body-painted bots, and female dancers writhing in tight silver bodysuits with disco balls on their heads.
Despite a strict social-media ban, guests including Paris and Nicky Hilton were seen in a few posts dancing wildly with the robots raining down a fog of dry ice, while priceless paintings by Dali and Modigliani from the Schwarzman’s stunning art collection could be viewed in the background, amid other flashing neon decor. Guests included a host of Wall Street bigwigs, and many of the Schwarzmans’ society friends, one insider said, adding that Steve “is so excited about AI. It is the future, and he wanted to share that with his guests in a fun way.”
It is not clear if any of the MIT professors made it to the party, but there were plenty of others on Instagram commenting that the bash was “bananas.” Announcing his MIT donation, Schwarzman, 71, worth an estimated $13.8 billion, had said, “There is no more important opportunity or challenge facing our nation than to responsibly harness the power of artificial intelligence.” His spokesperson declined to comment.
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