Dr. 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 and similar entities is the focus of Spohrer's group. Human sciences, On-Demand Innovation Services (ODIS), deep industry knowledge of future trends, and operations technology are areas of active exploration.
From 2000-2002, Spohrer was CTO of IBM's Venture Capital Relations Group, where he identified technology trends and worked to establish relationships between IBM and VC-backed portfolio companies. Previously, he directed the IBM Almaden Research Center's (ARC) Computer Science Department, and before that was senior manager and co-strategist for IBM's User Experience/Human Computer Interaction research.
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. He led the effort to create Apple's first online learning community and vision for "mobile anytime, anywhere" e-learning. From 1978-1982, he developed speech recognition algorithms and products at Verbex, an Exxon Enterprises company.
Spohrer received a B.S. in Physics from MIT in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University in 1988. In 1989, Spohrer lived in Rome where he was a visiting scholar at the University of Rome La Sapienza, and lecturer at major universities across Europe. Spohrer has published broadly in the areas of speech recognition, empirical studies of programmers, artificial intelligence, authoring tools, online 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. Spohrer has also helped to establish two education research non-profit web sites: The Educational Object Economy and WorldBoard: Associating Information with Places. He is a frequent advisor to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, and other groups (http://www.merlot.org, http://www.newmediacenters.org) on the implications of rapid technological change to the future of education.