BenevolentAI has appointed former Minister for Internet Safety and Security Baroness Joanna Shields OBE as group CEO.

The appointment reflects the rapid growth of BenevolentAI and will enable the company to build upon its position as the market leader in developing and applying artificial intelligence for scientific discovery.

Shields, who will join BenevolentAI with immediate effect, is a digital entrepreneur, experienced executive and prominent leader in the global technology industry with a track record in helping to grow some of the world’s best-known transformational companies.

She most recently served as the UK Minister for Internet Security & Safety, a special advisor to the UK Government on the Digital Economy and chair & CEO of TechCityUK.

Prior to her work in Government, she also spent 25 years in senior leadership positions at companies including Facebook, Bebo/AOL, Google, Decru/NetApp, RealNetworks, Veon and EFI.

“Joanna is a business builder with a strong leadership track record in growing companies with state-of-the-art, disruptive technology at their heart,” said BenevolentAI founder and chairman Ken Mulvany.

“Joanna’s appointment demonstrates the trajectory at which we intend to grow BenevolentAI and points to the impact that we want to make as a company in applying artificial intelligence to accelerate scientific innovation.”

Shields said: “After five years in public service I wanted to return to building a business again, but it had to be a business with a mission of consequence.

“I can’t think of a more important endeavour than improving the quality of people’s lives ?and health ?through the kind of innovations we are exploring at BenevolentAI.

“The company is creating technology that accelerates the ?discovery and development of breakthrough therapies at an unprecedented scale. But this bold journey isn’t ours alone.

“These developments will positively impact the lives of many millions of people.”