Baroness Joanna Shields OBE is a tech industry pioneer, start-up CEO, and life peer in the UK House of Lords, who is passionate about creating technology that benefits humanity. Over the past three decades, she has made a profound impact in driving innovation and advocating for the responsible development of technology across industry, government, and civil society.
Joanna is the founder and CEO of Precognition, a startup that empowers leaders in this AI-centric era to anticipate the future and build solutions for a better world. She was previously CEO of BenevolentAI, where, under her leadership, the company grew from a startup to a clinical-stage drug discovery company and developed an industry-leading AI platform that translates the complex language of biology into novel insights that lead scientists to new discoveries.
Joanna has served in executive leadership positions at some of the world’s largest tech companies. In the early years of both Google and Facebook, she expanded international operations, building global teams responsible for exponential growth in revenues and users. As President and CEO of Bebo, Joanna pioneered groundbreaking innovations in online original video content years before Netflix and other streaming services. She successfully steered its $850M acquisition by AoL Time Warner, gaining two BAFTA nominations along the way. As a startup CEO, Joanna built Veon into a leader in interactive video streaming before its acquisition by Philips NV and led international operations at RealNetworks, the inventor of streaming audio and video.
From 2013-2018, Joanna served in the UK Government as the first-ever Minister for Internet Safety and Security. She also served as Digital Economy Advisor to the Prime Minister, UK Ambassador for Digital Industries, and Special Representative on Internet Harms and Crimes. During her tenure, Baroness Shields pioneered solutions to pressing global issues at the intersection of technology and society, including developing AI products to understand the language of extremism online and to combat exploitation, abuse and crimes online.
A leading global internet safety advocate and campaigner, Baroness Shields founded the WeProtect Global Alliance, a multi-stakeholder organisation with over 100 member countries committed to combating online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
The uniting theme of her work today is advancing responsible technology development and human-centric AI for the benefit of all in society. As the twice-elected Co-Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, Joanna led the collaboration of 25 member countries and expanded the organisation’s global influence. She is currently 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.
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