How to improve productivity, and the future of AI

The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society at BI proudly hosts Dr. Jim Spohrer from IBM Almaden, California.

  • Starts:11:00, 8 May 2019
  • Ends:14:00, 8 May 2019
  • Location:BI, Campus Oslo. Room: B2-040
  • Enrolment deadline:May 7th, at noon
  • Contact:Per Erik Johannessen (per.erik.johannessen@bi.no)

The talks are free and open for everyone. Please use the link below to register by May 7th at noon. We serve coffee and sandwiches between the two talks.



  • Time
  • Title
  • Talk #1: ‘How to Improve Productivity by Applying AI’

    Automation and prediction are two ways to improve productivity using AI techniques today, if you have the data. Examples of automation include (1) pattern recognition systems that perform perception and translation tasks, and (2) robots for routine tasks. Examples of predication include (1) recommendation systems that provide suggested next actions to customer, and (2) next adjustment of direction and speed in a driverless car. Successes and failures will be discussed. The foundations for the coming AI revolution in personal productivity are near, but not quite here yet. The remaining obstacles will be discussed in more detail in the next talk, on the Future of AI.

  • Short break for coffee and a light snack

  • Talk #2: ‘Future of AI’ and Q&A

    The roadmap to "solving" narrow and then general AI is becoming increasingly clear. Progress depends on cheaper and more powerful computing, more access to the right data, as well as improving performance on a range of narrow tasks tracked on leaderboards that rank the best performing systems. The importance of GitHub, Kaggle, and PapersWithCode will be briefly described. The foundations for the coming AI revolution in personal productivity will depend in part on smartphone apps transforming into digital workers, from tool to assistant to collaborator to coach and then mediator. The remaining obstacles will be discussed, along with recommendation on the best ways to get the benefits and avoid the risks for smarter/wiser service systems.

About the Speaker:

Jim Spohrer directs IBM’s open source Artificial Intelligence (AI) efforts in IBM’s Open Technologies Group with a focus on open source developer and data science ecosystems. Previously at IBM, he led Global University Programs, co-founded Almaden Service Research, and was CTO Venture Capital Group. After his MIT BS in Physics, he developed speech recognition systems at Verbex, an Exxon company, before receiving his Yale PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence. In the 1990’s, he attained Apple Computers’ Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for next generation learning platforms. With over ninety publications and nine patents, he won the Gummesson Service Research award, Vargo and Lusch Service-Dominant Logic award, Daniel Berg Service Systems award, and a PICMET Fellow for advancing service science.