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Editorial Column—Smart Things As Service Providers: A Call For Convergence Of Disciplines To Build A Research Agenda For The Service Systems Of The Future

A. Medina-Borja
Published 2015 · Computer Science

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We are approaching the tipping point in the development of technologies that promise to enable an era of smart everything (cities, cars, buildings, etc.). Concurrently, service systems continue to dominate industrialized economies. Naturally, the concepts of smartness and service are starting to fuse, particularly when there is growing interest in overcoming the issues surrounding the effective implementation of smart engineered systems by applying a “service” framework. In terms of adding value to human life, actions executed by smart objects, mediated by technology, can be interpreted as a service to people. Inevitably, a new theoretical framework is needed to describe the interactions of ubiquitous technologies (new smart objects or processes) with the human world. Fundamental scientific principles need to be well understood at the intersection of the sensing and actuating, cognitive/behavioral, communications, and computational fields. This call for a new research avenue is intended to challenge the service engineering research community to think more deeply in the context above and converge with behavioral, cognitive, and computer scientists to develop new or additional principles and theories that help us better predict the behavior of a service system as a function of its design (as a sociotechnical system), with the human at the center.
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