Prodigious Data, Logic, Processing, and Usage

Dr. Alfred Z. Spector
Vice President, Research and Special Initiatives
Google, USA


While processor speed and storage capacity have grown remarkably, the geometric growth in user communities, online computer usage, and the availability of data is in some ways is even more remarkable. This growth has engendered some truly amazing systems, with even greater possibilities in the future. In this talk, under the rubric of Hybrid Intelligence, I’ll discuss a few of the great opportunities we have to harness this data availability to build systems of immense potential. However, I’ll also discuss the systems challenges that arise. While today’s large scale systems are evolutionarily based on the distributed computing technologies envisioned in the 70’s and 80’s, sheer scaling has led to many unanticipated challenges. In this talk, I’ll also describe many fascinating challenges to ever more cost-effective, reliable, and secure systems.

About the Speaker:

Alfred joined Google in November of 2007 and is responsible for the research across Google and also a growing collection of special initiatives typically projects with high strategic value to the company, but somewhat outside the mainstream of current products. They include Google's health, open source, and university initiatives.

Previously, Alfred was Vice President of Strategy and Technology IBM's Software Business, and prior to that, he was Vice President of Services and Software Research across IBM. He was also founder and CEO of Transarc Corporation, a pioneer in distributed transaction processing and wide area file systems, and was an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in highly reliable, highly scalable distributed computing.

Alfred received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford and his A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM, and the recipient of the 2001 IEEE Computer Society's Tsutomu Kanai Award for work in scalable architectures and distributed systems.