Blog

Joanna Shields

Baroness Joanna Shields

A New Chapter @ BenevolentAI

Today marks my first official day as Group CEO at BenevolentAI. For me, it is the next step of a journey, one that has encompassed amazing experiences building some of the biggest technology brands on the planet. Yet none of them had the same potential to transform our lives for the better as we have here at BenevolentAI.

That is why I am so excited to get started because what we do here truly matters and as CEO, I will make it my mission to ensure that our work continues to help others in every way possible.

Certainly, I am inspired by our mission, and by the smart people I have met and will be working alongside. Already, I have found here an uncompromising determination and passion to innovate traditional scientific R&D and in entirely new ways.

BenevolentAI is a purposeful disruptive technology company with an intent to fundamentally change things for the better. It is exactly the sort of place I was hoping to find when I set out to take the next step on my personal journey.

At the heart of that 30-year journey has always been a simple belief: that technology is, and should always be, a force for good. It was the dream of ‘what could be’ that first drew me to a career in tech, and it has been witnessing our ability to renew and remake the world through technology that has kept me inspired and committed ever since.

Over the past five years, I have been working to help the Government harness the potential of technology: maximising the growth of the digital economy, building TechCityUK and serving as the UK’s first Minister for Internet Security and Safety. It’s been a remarkable honour to serve, but I must admit that I have been longing to apply myself to the challenge of building a business once again.

As a self-confessed ‘tech utopian’, I wanted to do that with the right company, and I can’t think of a more important endeavour than improving the quality of people’s lives through the kind of innovations we are exploring here.

So for me, this is the right company and the right time, because following two decades of unprecedented technological development, I believe AI in bioscience now promises a new renaissance in human health and well-being: from better monitoring, advice and diagnosis to personalized medicine and faster drug development.  

We here at BenevolentAI have the opportunity to help discover and develop breakthrough therapies and to deliver these faster and at a larger scale than humans can do alone. It’s a transformational moment in technology and a transformational moment for our world.


That is what makes this such an exciting place to be. That is why I have signed up. I can’t wait to get going, to meet more of you from across the business, and to get on with delivering my mission as Benevolent’s CEO: doing everything I can to help you help others.

 Joanna