Sven Molter joined Silverchair earlier this month, working closely with clients and internal teams to craft the vision for Silverchair’s products. Below, we asked about his path to Silverchair, AI, and of course, some shenanigans.

What has been your career path to Silverchair? How did you get into scholarly publishing?

I got into scholarly publishing because I needed health insurance. I was working as a Director for a youth center but didn’t have insurance as a part of the benefits. Someone I knew went to an Association Management Company and then I ended up joining as an assistant. Worked with the AMC and eventually became the lead planner for the Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting. In that remit I got to work with ScholarOne Abstracts. We had a great working relationship. A position opened and they encouraged me to apply. The rest is history.

What attracted you to Silverchair, and what most excites you about the work that lies ahead in your new role? 

An opportunity to work on something forward facing (AI), while also staying rooted in a product that’s been around for a bit. As a Product Manager it's always interesting to hunt for the intersection of jobs-to-be-done and challenges impeding success. Much of my career has been spent with legacy products, so the opportunity to join Silverchair and the AI Lab was compelling.

What do you think about the AI landscape in scholarly publishing? How far along are we, and how transformative (or not transformative) do you expect this technology to be? 

It’s an opportunity and a distraction all at the same time. We’re just at the beginning. I don’t think someone has to nail a new product right out of the gate, but instead possibly recognize where another product misses the mark and innovate that extra step. Re: transformative or not. Both? In some respects, like how papers are reviewed, or how academic fraudsters are found out…could be a game changer. At the same time, in some areas, it will be a novel (or not so novel) add-on to what’s already done.

Two fun facts:

General: In 2001, the Russian Space Agency was paid more than a million bucks to deliver a six inch pizza to the International Space Station. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachov had the honor of being the first person to receive a pizza delivery while in orbit.

About me: I drove Tourist Trolleys in Chicago as my first gig out of college.

And the classic Silverchair question: is a hot dog a sandwich?

After much reflection and debate with friends (and now foes).... First: you jerks for asking. And second: I have begrudgingly come to accept that a hot dog is a TYPE of sandwich. Websters defines a sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.” My thought process went like this. Is a sub a sandwich? The bread isn’t two “slices” of bread…but per the definition, bread is not the defining factor, so a sub is a type of sandwich. For a minute I thought a sandwich was partially defined by whether the contents were flat-ish…but then what about a meatball sub? A Meatball sub is a type of sandwich too, I guess. So, then a hot dog is a type of sandwich and that means…that a BRAT is a type of sandwich? UGHHHHHHHHH. It pains the cheesehead in me to no end to admit that. Is it possible that Websters is wrong? This entire thing is unsettling lol.


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