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Jim Spohrer

Service as a Science

Jim Spohrer

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[runtime: 00:38:14, 17.5 mb, recorded 2004-11-06]

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This talk first defines what is meant by the coevolution of technology and business innovations, and then relates this type of coevolution to waves of changing work practices rippling through populations of people. Next, Jim summarizes diverse perspectives on this topic expressed at the Coevolution Symposium. A proposed collaborative research agenda on coevolution that links academic and business institutions is outlined -- specifically around the emergence of a new multidiscipline: service science.

After defining what services are, the astounding growth of the service economy in the US and around the world is considered. Next, the response of universities to the demand from industry for more highly skilled service practitioners, managers,and scientists is reviewed. Finally, a vision of the future of the service economy is presented, and the critical role service science might play in making that vision a reality.

Jim Spohrer is the Director of Almaden Services Research at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. IBM Global Services (IGS) is a people-intensive, information-intensive business of over 170,000 professionals world-wide, accounting for almost half of IBM's yearly revenues, and innovation for IGS is the focus of the Almaden Services Research group. Human sciences, On-Demand Innovation Services (ODIS), deep industry knowledge of future trends, and operations technology are areas of active exploration.

From 2000-2003, at IBM, he was CTO of IBM's Venture Capital Relations Group, where he identified technology trends and worked to establish win-win relationships between IBM and VC-backed portfolio companies. Previously, Dr. Spohrer directed the IBM Almaden Research Center's (ARC) Computer Science Foundation Department, and before that was senior manager and co-strategist for IBM's User Experience/Human Computer Interaction Research effort.

From 1989-1998, at Apple, he was a DEST (Distinguished Engineer, Scientist, and Technologist) and program manager of learning technology projects in Apple's Advanced Technology Group (ATG). He lead the effort to create Apple's first on-line learning community and vision for mobile any time, any where e-learning. From 1978-1982, he developed speech recognition algorithms and products at Verbex, an Exxon Enterprises company.

Jim received a B.S. in Physics from MIT in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University in 1988. In 1989, Jim lived in Rome, Italy where he was a visiting scholar at the University of Rome La Sapienza, and lecturer at major universities across Europe. Jim has published broadly in the areas of speech recognition, empirical studies of programmers, artificial intelligence, authoring tools, on-line learning communities, open source software, intelligent tutoring systems and student modeling, new paradigms in using computers, implications of rapid technical change, as well as the coevolution of social, business, and technical systems. Jim has also helped to establish two education research non-profit web sites: The Educational Object Economy and WorldBoard: Associating Information with Places. Jim is a frequent advisor to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and other groups on the implications of rapid technological change to the future of education.

This presentation was recorded at Accelerating Change 2004, November 5-7, 2004. Check here for the complete Accelerating Change archives.

This program is from our IT Conversations Legacy Programs series.