Joanna Shields philanthropy Joanna Shields, Baroness

"Technology is more than chips and algorithms; it’s a tool for human ingenuity to shape a better future.
My journey of nearly four decades has taken me from the offices of the global tech giants, to parliamentary chambers, to leading AI-driven advancements in bio-pharma as CEO of BenevolentAI.
Throughout, I have been driven by a vision of harnessing technology for the greater good.
I founded Precognition because I have witnessed first-hand the transformative potential of AI, offering insights and solutions that were once beyond our reach. As the pace of development accelerates, the world will have to confront the new challenges that arise from implementing this powerful, revolutionary technology in our lives. Precognition ensures leaders are able to overcome these obstacles, supporting their progress towards an AI-enabled future.
The most pressing challenges AI presents to the world at this moment come from a lack of regulation to ensure it stimulates safe, responsible innovation. As the inaugural co-chair of the steering committee of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) from 2020 to 2022, I led efforts to unite the world's leading experts, academics, tech companies, and governments in an alliance promoting responsible and ethical development of artificial intelligence. I champion this cause as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of AI, the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, the Global Tech Thinkers Group and the Council on Foreign Relations.”

Advisor to the Board and Executive Leadership team of BenevolentAi,
CEO and Executive Board Member from 2018-23 and now
Mission-driven to preserve human life

During her tenure at BenevolentAI, Joanna helped transform the company into an AI juggernaut, leading the development of the company's AI platform for identifying novel drug targets for complex diseases, achieving scientific and commercial success.

Under Joanna's leadership, the company identified a repurposed drug for COVID-19, which received FDA and WHO approval after clinical trials showed a 46% reduction in mortality for hospitalized patients.

Joanna secured major collaborations with top pharmaceutical companies, including a $594 million partnership with Merck and a $1.4 billion deal with AstraZeneca, resulting in significant investments and revenue.

She also guided the company through several financing rounds, raising $290 million, and led its listing via a SPAC transaction in April 2022.

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First Move Looks at Rise of AI
AI For Good: AI and the Transformation of Humanity and Civilization
BenevolentAI - AI-Enabled Drug Discovery

Portfolio Projects & Memberships

Oxford Commission on AI & Good Governance

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The challenge of using AI for good governance urgently concerns public policy, administration and politics in democracies across the world. The goal of the Oxford Commission on AI and Good Governance is to develop principles and practical policy recommendations to ensure the democratic use of AI for good governance.
The Oxford Commission on AI and Good Governance will investigate the procurement and implementation challenges surrounding the use of AI for good governance faced by democracies around the world, identify best practices for evaluating and managing risks and benefits, and recommend strategies in an effort to take full advantage of technological capacities while mitigating potential harms of AI-enabled public policy.
Drawing from input from experts across a wide range of geographic regions and areas of expertise, including stakeholders from government, industry, technical and civil society, OxCAIGG will bring forward applicable and relevant recommendations for the use of AI for good governance.

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Tech City.

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We help start-up and scale-up digital tech companies accelerate their growth through a series of programmes, research and events aimed at boosting the number of high-growth businesses in the UK, raising the profile of the sector, and providing a feedback loop from business to government to help shape policy. We also work to eliminate the issues that hold back startups such as skills and access to finance.
Our story began in Shoreditch in 2010, launched by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, to support the East London tech cluster known as London Tech City or Silicon Roundabout. Since then we’ve been on a journey and have spread our activities to cover other parts of the UK including setting up Tech North to run programmes across the North of England.

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