Advisory Board

Shivon A. Zilis

Shivon A. Zilis is the Director of Operations at Neuralink, Board Member and Advisor at OpenAI, and Founding Fellow of the Creative Destruction Lab Incubator.

Shivon is obsessed with the most important life changing work, machine intelligence, and has spent her career to date focusing on its use for good. The bridge between AI and biological intelligence perhaps excites her most, hence her work in the offices of Neuralink on wiring up digital machines to the organic brain.

At Neuralink, since 2017, Shivon and her team are creating the future of brain-machine interfaces by building devices that will help people with paralysis and inventing new technologies that will expand our abilities, our community, and our future world. Their goal is to build a system with at least two orders of magnitude more communication channels (electrodes) than current clinically-approved devices. Their device, called the Link, will be able to record from 1,024 electrodes and is designed to meet these criteria. Watch The Future of Brain Machine Interfaces.

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company dedicated to ensuring that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. They are dedicated to putting that alignment of interests first — ahead of profit. Their major breakthrough, the Generative Pretrained Transformer-3 or GPT-3, offers, unlike most AI systems that are designed for one use-case, a general-purpose “text in, text out” interface, allowing users to try it on virtually any English language task. Shivon has been with OpenAI as an Advisor since 2016 and is also the youngest board member there.

Since 2015, Shivon is Founding Fellow of Creative Destruction Lab AI and CDL Quantum Machine Learning, a startup Incubator in Toronto. The current cohort is 100 companies, coming from all across Canada, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Israel.

Between 2017 and 2019, Shivon was Project Director at Tesla where she worked on Autopilot and Chip Design Teams.

Until 2018, Shivon was Board of Directors Member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the transformative field of artificial intelligence. Between 2015 and 2018, she was also on the Board of Directors at the University of Alberta’s Machine Intelligence Institute, the pioneering institution on reinforcement learning and it has since become a hub of machine intelligence talent.

She is the co-chair of the annual Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence conference at the University of Toronto that brings together the foremost authors, academics, founders, and investors in machine intelligence. She was one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital, LinkedIn’s 35 Under 35, Top 10 Women AI Leaders, Top 10 Women in AI, received a Global Corporate Venturing Rising Stars Award, and became a charter member of C100, a nonprofit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment.

Previously, between 2012 and 2018, Shivon was Partner and Founding Member of Bloomberg Beta, a $75 million venture fund backed by Bloomberg L.P. that invests in startups transforming the future of work. With more than 40 machine intelligence powered companies investments to date, she is currently an Advisor of the Bloomberg Beta portfolio, which includes a number of AI companies. Watch Cash for A.I. startups.

She is known for an annual report that researches thousands of machine intelligence companies and selects the most promising real-world problems they are solving. Read The Current State of Machine Intelligence, The current state of machine intelligence 2.0, and The current state of machine intelligence 3.0.

Shivon graduated from Yale University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Economics and Philosophy and where she was the goalie on their ice hockey team. Visit her Eliteprospects profile.

She began her career as Senior Strategist at IBM in 2008. She continued in 2011, as Chief Adventurer at Bloomberg Ventures, where she worked on internal incubation and partnerships. They were building businesses in the education, conference, and data-as-a-service industries, before she became Founding Member of Bloomberg Beta in 2012.

She currently lives in Silicon Valley and is a Leafs fan for life.

Watch New Business Models in Machine Intelligence, How to Build a Responsible AI Future, AI: Reshaping the World As We Know It, and The Machine Intelligence Landscape.

Listen to Thinking Machines, Deep Learning And Artificial Intelligence, and Shivon Zilis on the machine intelligence landscape, and Bot Day wrap-up.

Read Shivon Zilis, nerd-athlete investor, OpenAI Director Shivon Zilis explains why AI requires oversight now, Women In A.I. — Future is Female, Hockey skills helped Canadian stickhandle on to Forbes Top 30 young investors list, and Machine Intelligence Will Let Us All Work Like CEOs.

Visit her LinkedIn profile and her Home Page. Follow her on Crunchbase, Signal, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Twitter.