As a lifelong technologist, Vilas began his career as an artificial intelligence researcher, leading early work on applying complex learning algorithms to real world use cases. His current applied research draws on his experience as a computer scientist, lawyer, and social change scholar, to explore how advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning create potential opportunities and challenges for human society, and includes a body of literature and advocacy on how CEO's, government officials, and civil society leaders can understand and develop strategies to guide their organizations through the AI revolution. His articles and lectures focus on building a basic technical knowledge among non-technical audiences, creating a shared understanding and language to describe the current state of AI and aligning the interests of diverse decision makers to pursue future potential.
He has served as the Gleitsman Fellow on Social Change at Harvard University, Practitioner Resident on Artificial Intelligence at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Illinois. He holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and dual Bachelor's degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois. His work has been profiled/published in digital publications including the Harvard Business Review Online, Forbes, and Project Syndicate.