Byron Reese

  • Influential Futurist and Technologist
  • CEO, Knowingly
  • Former Chief Innovation Officer for Demand Media

With a gift for storytelling, Byron has captivated audiences around the world with the message that technology is empowering us to build a better world, and he invites his listeners to imagine this better world, and build it.

As a lifelong entrepreneur with multiple IPOs and successful exits under his belt, Byron frequently speaks to business audiences on how to excel in the world of tomorrow, and how to deploy technology successfully.

He states: “Technology multiplies human ability. That’s its trick. It magnifies us. We can move more bricks with a fork lift than we can on our back. Technological advancement is not to be feared, rather it should be welcomed, for by enhancing human ability, we enhance our productivity and therefore our standard of living. This is the entire reason why we live so much more lavish and prosperous lives than did our great grandparents. An hour of our time is vastly more productive than was an hour of theirs.”

Byron has addressed hundreds of corporations and professional organizations on almost every continent and reports that he is open to traveling to Antarctica to round it all out.

 

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Rave Reviews About Byron Reese
Byron presents his vision of the future: humanity advancing subconsciously via our seamless integration with technology. Every heartbeat becomes a data point bringing us one step closer to unlocking the mysteries of humankind. Every person’s life contributes to the greater good, simply through the act of living. I found his talk to be highly enthusiastic, visually engaging, and hopeful.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Byron Reese
  • John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market
  • Crestone Capital Advisors
  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • Crestone Capital Advisors
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Texas Woman’s University
Byron Reese at TEDxAustin - Achieving Greatness Is A Choice - Get Sharable Link
Explore Byron Reese's Talks
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AI & Employment - How Robots Create Human Jobs

"Daily, the media greets readers with a variant of “THE ROBOTS ARE COMING FOR YOUR JOB!” The logic is simple: Everyday Robots get smarter, learn faster, and they will never ask for a raise. But Byron believes this simplistic reasoning is entirely wrong. "Just as electricity and the assembly line wer ...

"Daily, the media greets readers with a variant of “THE ROBOTS ARE COMING FOR YOUR JOB!” The logic is simple: Everyday Robots get smarter, learn faster, and they will never ask for a raise. But Byron believes this simplistic reasoning is entirely wrong. "Just as electricity and the assembly line weren’t bad for workers, in spite of shrill predictions otherwise, AI and robots won’t be either," he says. "In fact, they will create so many new jobs that our bigger problem will be a labor shortage."


Sharing insights from his upcoming book, "The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers and the Future of Humanity," to be released April 2018 by Simon & Schuster, Byron invites his audience to meet him at the start of the Industrial Revolution, to explore from there the many advances leading to today's technological age, and then to dare to explore the vast possibilities of the future, the coming Fourth Age.


This talk is structured to be highly customizable to specific industries or can be presented to a general audience. Byron delivers a calm and factual analysis concluding that our best days are certainly ahead of us.

AI & Employment - The Future of Work

While audience members once commonly asked, "What should I teach my kids to make sure they have a job in the future,” today, says Byron they ask, 'What do I need to learn to stay relevant in the future?' And, 'How do I keep from falling behind?' Everyone agrees that technology is changing the world. ...

While audience members once commonly asked, "What should I teach my kids to make sure they have a job in the future,” today, says Byron they ask, 'What do I need to learn to stay relevant in the future?' And, 'How do I keep from falling behind?' Everyone agrees that technology is changing the world. The question is how should we change in response to it? In this talk, Byron tells the story of technology's advancement from the invention of language until today. He explores what's to come in the next decade, and examines what we individuals can do to make the most of changing times.


What skills are useful to have? Which technologies should we adopt? How will technology affect the workplace, the home, and society in general? In this empowering talk, Byron suggests that the future is not going to be a frightening place where humans become displaced, but rather "one in which the things that make us human become incredibly valuable. We are entering a world of more choice and more opportunity than ever before," says Bryon, and "the best response is to expand our dreams and expectations, not our fears and concerns."


This highly customizable talk can be tailored to specific industries or can be presented to a general audience.

Techno-Optimism - The Coming Golden Age of Humanity

In this compelling talk, Byron demonstrates how current technological changes will ultimately bring about the end of poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance, and war. Byron explores how these historical problems of humanity are fundamentally problems of technology, and thus will have technological solut ...

In this compelling talk, Byron demonstrates how current technological changes will ultimately bring about the end of poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance, and war. Byron explores how these historical problems of humanity are fundamentally problems of technology, and thus will have technological solutions, solutions we will find much sooner than is commonly believed.

 

Techno-Optimism - How to Change the World for Centuries to Come

The world has, throughout human history, changed. Almost always, this change is for the better. Through civilization, we have raised life expectancy, the standard of living, access to education, and political liberty. How has this change been brought about? Largely through the actions of individuals ...

The world has, throughout human history, changed. Almost always, this change is for the better. Through civilization, we have raised life expectancy, the standard of living, access to education, and political liberty. How has this change been brought about? Largely through the actions of individuals driven to change the world. This talk focuses on how that change happens and looks at how virtually any individual can literally have worldwide effect on the history of the planet.

Techno-Optimism - Big Data and the Perfectibility of Humanity

More data is created every day that was created in the entire 19th Century. And within that data lies to the answers to the vexing problems of life. Automatic computer programs will scour the data for associations that will be turned into algorithms to optimize every decision we have to make in life ...

More data is created every day that was created in the entire 19th Century. And within that data lies to the answers to the vexing problems of life. Automatic computer programs will scour the data for associations that will be turned into algorithms to optimize every decision we have to make in life. And while we may not always choose to do those things, it will effectively make every person on the planet vastly wiser than the wisest person who has ever lived. In the future, no one will ever need to make a mistake again. While this sounds like a technical talk, the wide use of real examples makes it suitable for any audience.

Business & Leadership - How to Innovate in a Rapidly Changing World

No matter what industry you are in, you probably have a sense that you are in one of those radical disruptive periods where everything seems to be changing. You might be wondering when it is all going to settle down so you can take a bit of a breather. This talk explores how businesses that operate ...

No matter what industry you are in, you probably have a sense that you are in one of those radical disruptive periods where everything seems to be changing. You might be wondering when it is all going to settle down so you can take a bit of a breather.


This talk explores how businesses that operate in industries that are undergoing dramatic changes can function and be successful. While traditional futurists seldom bridge the gap between “here is what is going to happen” and “here is how you profit from it,” Byron explores how it is that radical technology advance creates new multi-billion dollar companies, and destroys old ones.

Business & Leadership - The Next Seven Years

What would you have foreseen seven years ago? There were no self-driving cars or Apple watches. Would you have seen the transformative effect that tablets and smartphones would have? The next seven years will have much more change than the prior seven years. We know this. And this is the change we n ...

What would you have foreseen seven years ago? There were no self-driving cars or Apple watches. Would you have seen the transformative effect that tablets and smartphones would have? The next seven years will have much more change than the prior seven years. We know this. And this is the change we need to begin preparing for.

Technology & Education - The Future of Education

The University system is a 12th Century French invention that remains to this day largely unchanged from it origins in the Middle Ages. Our K-12 system is a 19th Century German invention designed to produce homogenous factory workers. It too remains unchanged since the late 1800s. Now, we find ourse ...

The University system is a 12th Century French invention that remains to this day largely unchanged from it origins in the Middle Ages. Our K-12 system is a 19th Century German invention designed to produce homogenous factory workers. It too remains unchanged since the late 1800s. Now, we find ourselves in a world that has changed in ways no one expected. Now, the two most important job skills are teaching yourself new skills and working collaboratively with a team, neither of which are taught in our existing framework. How should education change? How will it? What skills will ensure that a person can economically contribute in a world of radical technological change?

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<p>Byron Reese interviews leading minds in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more</p>

Byron Reese interviews leading minds in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more

As CEO and Publisher of Gigaom, BYRON REESE leads the company in their mission to help business leaders understand the implications of emerging technologies and their impacts on business, media, and society. Having served across a wide range of senior management roles, from CEO, to VP of Marketing, to Chief Innovation Officer, Byron possesses a diverse body of patented work and speaks and writes about how today’s technology can solve many of our biggest global challenges. He is the host of “Voices in AI”, a podcast featuring today’s most prominent leaders in AI, Machine Learning, and Data Science. Reese, a prominent futurist, accomplished technologist, and patented AI practitioner, talks with some of the leading minds in artificial intelligence about its implications across economic, social, ethical, and philosophical issues. He is also co-host of STACK That, a podcast from HP Enterprises that dives into the world of emerging trends, taking a look at what’s hot, what’s secure and how you can leverage new technologies for your business’ benefit. From machine learning to autonomous driving to the power of the cloud, guests include industry experts from Airbnb, Vapor IO, Confluent and other companies from across various industries.

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Biography

Hello, my name is Byron Reese. I enjoy studying technology and history, contemplating their intersection with the future, and writing and speaking about it all.

I have always loved technology. As a kid, I was always taking stuff apart to figure out how it worked. I grew convinced that I must have a knack for engineering because whenever I would put something back together, I always had a few pieces leftover. If that isn’t talent, I don’t know what is.

Like many people that are fascinated by technology, I loved science fiction. I was, and still am, a big Star Trek fan. Years ago, I read a quote by the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry. He said that in the future, “There would be no hunger, there would be no greed, and all the children will know how to read.”

This quote gnawed at me, and I wondered if it was true. Or did it just sound true because it rhymed? So I decided to try to figure it out. That’s how I became a futurist.

I got into business early in life. When I was 12, my mom asked me to paint our house number on our curb with a stencil. Our neighbor, Mr. Roland, saw me doing it and asked me to do his as well. Afterwards, he gave me $5. Five bucks! For five minutes work. In 1980! I remember hearing a distinct “ka-ching” inside my head. I immediately started going door-to-door and made a kid-sized fortune. I have been an entrepreneur ever since.

After I had some business success as an adult, I began getting invitations to give talks. Good speakers write a speech and give it over and over. I am not a good speaker. I have never given the same speech twice. I just can’t bring myself to do it… it feels like I am phoning it in. So, I would give talks about whatever I was interested in at the time. After a while, I noticed that the same themes were coming up over and over. Suddenly that collection of speeches looked a lot like a book. That’s how I became an author. My upcoming book is about AI and is called “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity.”

Today, I am requested to speak to both technical and non-technical audiences around the world and am the publisher of Gigaom.  I am so excited to be part of the Gigaom mission to provide enterprises with information and analysis to help them make better decisions about technology. I invite you to check out my Talks on Tomorrow and visit my blog for a collection of writing including my articles on artificial intelligence and interviews with today’s AI thought leaders.

Whether I am writing or speaking, you are sure to find me exploring the intersection of technology, business, and the future. Follow me on Twitter at @byronreese.