Suzanne Gildert is co-founder of Sanctuary AI, a company with a mission to create ultra human-like robots – “synths” – that are indistinguishable from us physically, cognitively and emotionally. Sanctuary is structured to explore both cutting edge technology and the ethical issues that arise from creating human-like machines. The company strives to create a micro-society in which synths can develop and be granted a safe haven as they transition into full acceptance by our wider society. Prior to Sanctuary, Suzanne founded Kindred Inc., an artificial intelligence and robotics company. She hand built over 30 robots to demonstrate Kindred’s core technology concept of human robot tele-operation for reinforcement learning. She grew the company to over 50 employees and opened offices in Vancouver, Toronto, and San Mateo. She helped raise over $50M in venture funding for Kindred from top tier investors including Eclipse, Google Ventures, First Round Capital and Data Collective.
Suzanne also worked for D-Wave Systems Inc. a Canadian company pioneering quantum computing technology. In 2011, Suzanne joined D-Wave’s machine learning group. In this role she invented and coded most of the use cases D-Wave produced in the period 2011-2013, including MAXCAT, the world’s first quantum computer game, and the world’s first control of a robot by a quantum computer. She also worked on the world’s first supervised binary classifier (a workhorse machine learning algorithm) run on a quantum computer. Her work has been published in several scientific peer reviewed journals, including Nature magazine, and she holds 2 patents in quantum software stack design. Her role at D-Wave not only focused on the technical, but involved marketing and communicating complex concepts and products to a range of audiences. She led the quantum computing training programs for Lockheed Martin, Google and NASA. She designed, coded and ran the company’s Developer Portal and the company website. In 2013 she was awarded a prestigious top D-Wave performer award, given to the top 10 D-Wave employees as chosen by peer vote. Prior to joining D-Wave, Suzanne worked at the University of Birmingham, UK, where she earned a PhD in Physics and Electronics and subsequently undertook a postdoctoral role. The role focused on cutting edge research with superconducting devices at ultra-low temperatures, giving her a wealth of experience in the design, fabrication and debugging of complex hardware systems. She has worked with hardware at all scales, from microscopic devices up to large, heavy-duty industrial machinery.
Suzanne is also a published digital artist and poet, has worked as a graphic designer, and pioneered a technique for creating art using a quantum computer. She loves painting using acrylic on canvas, mixed media, digital painting, tapestry, and she also creates electronic music (synthesizer / keyboard / piano) inspired by retro video games and the synthwave genre.