The Board of Directors of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) announced Thursday the appointment of John Shillington as the institute’s first CEO. His appointment began on October 1, 2018.
As head of one Canada’s three AI institutes, Shillington will focus on further developing Alberta as a premier global destination for both foundational research and innovative commercial applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies.
“With years of experience at the intersection of industry and academia, John is perfectly placed to lead Amii in growing Alberta into the world’s leading destination for AI and machine learning,” says Bruce Johnson, Chair of Amii’s Board of Directors. “He has an established record as a leader and builder of high-performing teams; he has in-depth knowledge of technology commercialization; and he is passionate about building a bright, AI-enabled future right here in Alberta.”
Shillington will work to boost Alberta’s global AI leadership through Amii’s four key focus areas: supporting world-class research and training at the University of Alberta (UAlberta), growing AI capacity in Alberta-based companies, attracting corporate research labs and upskilling Alberta’s workforce for AI literacy.
“I’m beyond excited to be joining such an amazing team of world-class researchers, staff and students,” says Shillington. “I look forward to leading the next stage of Amii’s growth as a not-for-profit, helping Alberta businesses realize the transformative potential of AI and accelerating our province’s global economic advantage.”
Shillington brings with him over 30 years of expertise as a technology leader with deep experience helping companies improve their competitive advantage and driving their next stage of growth. Much of his career has focused on helping organizations bridge the chasm between academic research and its applications in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Elissa Strome, Executive Director of CIFAR’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy echoes Johnson’s praise of Shillington: “We’re thrilled at the selection of John Shillington as leader of the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute. Amii is already one of Canada’s AI research powerhouses, and we’re confident that John’s years of experience in the tech sector will provide the knowledge and vision needed to help further cement Canada’s reputation as one of the world’s premier locations for AI research and investment.”
Prior to joining Amii, Shillington was Vice President, Technology at Cybera, a not-for-profit technical agency helping Alberta advance its IT frontiers. He has also held senior executive and technical management positions at several international technology firms in addition to starting up a UAlberta-based spin-off company.