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Sir Nigel Shadbolt joins BenevolentAI as a non-executive director

We are thrilled to announce Sir Nigel Shadbolt has joined our Board of Directors as a non-executive.

At BenevolentAI, we build technology to advance scientific discovery and ultimately to make a positive impact on patient outcomes. We recognise that delivering on our mission demands collaboration with world-leading experts and we could not wish for more wisdom, knowledge and expertise than that of Sir Nigel Shadbolt. 

Sir Nigel is a visionary and pioneer in AI and computer science with an academic career reaching back to 1978, when he began a PhD at Edinburgh University’s Department of AI. During his academic career he established internationally recognised research groups at the Universities of Nottingham, Southampton and Oxford. Sir Nigel is now Principal of Jesus College, Oxford and a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford where he researches and leads a group on human-centred computing and AI. In 2009, he was appointed as Information Advisor to the UK government and helped establish the UK as a leading force in the publication and use of open data. He is Chairman of the Open Data Institute, which he founded in 2012 with Sir Tim Berners Lee with the purpose of building an open, trustworthy data ecosystem. He was one of the originators of the interdisciplinary field of Web Science, the study of the large-scale socio-technical system that is the World Wide Web. He is a Director and Trustee of the Web Science Trust, which promotes policy, research and teaching in this emerging area.  

Sir Nigel’s research into the Semantic Web forged the way for new companies, such as Garlik, acquired by Experian in 2011. He continues to research and advocates for open data – identifying where it can be used to promote economic and social value. Recent work on the theory and practice of ‘social machines’ is leading the way in integrating humans and computers in novel and unanticipated ways so as to augment our problem solving capabilities. As an interdisciplinary researcher, policy expert and scientific commentator, Sir Nigel brings with him an unrivalled depth of experience and technical background in tech, AI and data.

Our core purpose at Benevolent is summarised by our mantra, ‘because it matters’. Behind this, sits a team of passionate and dedicated people whose curiosity, humility and openness to learning are what will allow us to progress on the complex problems we are tackling, and ultimately, will be what leads us to discover new vital treatments for patients. We are excited to integrate Sir Nigel’s expertise and knowledge into our board and to count him as part of this team and mission.


Sir Nigel Shadbolt commented:

“At its best AI augments human ingenuity and creativity. BenevolentAI combines human expertise with the latest AI and machine learning methods to provide extraordinary potential for drug design and discovery. I am delighted to be a part of their journey.”

Joanna Shields, CEO
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