Byron Reese (@byronreese) is an investor, entrepreneur, publisher and futurist. He is the publisher of tech news site Gigaom and the founder of several high-tech companies. He has obtained or has pending patents in disciplines as varied as crowdsourcing, content creation, and psychographics. He is the author of the best selling book, Infinite Progress: How Technology and the Internet Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for Knowingly, a venture-backed Internet startup based in Austin, Texas.He also has a TEDxAustin talk on “Achieving Greatness is a Choice.”
The Fourth Age is his upcoming book. Byron Reese explains that a number of disruptive technologies—each of which alone would be world-changing—are all converging at the same time in a perfect storm. We are building robots that can do human jobs. We are designing computers that might be capable of intelligence. We are likely on the cusp of creating a new life form: a conscious computer to which we could outsource our thinking minds, with a companion robot to perform the functions of our bodies.
In captivating and clear language, Reese explores this imminent technological revolution and its species-changing implications. He helps us to understand what this brave new world can mean for us both practically and existentially, in the process arriving at a more complete definition of what it means to be human.
“Our descendants are going to look back on this and they’re going to think we just kind of staggered through our lives like drunken sailors on shore leave, just making these decisions just kind of randomly.” -Byron Reese
“Artificial intelligence’s time has finally come. It’s the ability to make better decisions.” -Byron Reese
“Their will be oracle (i.e. technology) that will say, ‘This will be the best thing for you to do.’” -Byron Reese
“Can computers become conscious?” You have to say, ‘Well, what is consciousness? Why are we conscious?’” -Byron Reese
“If there’s ever a robot uprising, just wait 15 minutes, and all their batteries will run dead.” -Byron Reese
“I typically fail at most things I do, but I make up for it by I do a lot of things.” -Byron Reese
“PageWise was a company that I started with a thesis, and then a different thesis, and then a different one, and a different one, and a different one, and a different one, until we finally found something that worked really well.” -Byron Reese
“I think the lesson then is it’s important for the entrepreneur to kill ideas quickly, right? I mean we everyone, “Persevere, be determined,” and yes, that’s true. If you try all these different things, all you really need is one home run.” -Byron Reese
The Cheat Sheet:
- Want to learn about artificial intelligence? Byron says start here: Read about IBM’s Watson, get a “smart” speaker, and learn about chatbots (and listen to learn why these are the best places to start at).
- What is the role of artificial intelligence and how can you leverage it? Which companies are on the forefront of it?
- Learn about robotics and what’s coming that will impact you.
- Why people will live for hundreds of years soon.
- How you can maximize the impact you have on your business and the world around you.
- Learn key insights into creating successful business ventures
- And so much more…
Scroll down more for a summary, show transcription, resources and more.
Byron Reese is an extremely fascinating person and entrepreneur. You will enjoy learning about the future and how fast (or slow it’s coming), and what to expect. You’ll also gain some great insights from someone who has started and sold businesses (and failed a bunch of times as well).
Here is a glimpse:
“We really underestimate what doubling can do over time. What it means in a very real sense is while it took us 3,000 years to get from the abacus to the iPad, in just 30 years, we’re going to have something as far ahead of the iPad as it is ahead of the abacus. How does that relate to robotics? It’s like I’m bullish on robots in terms of Rosie the Robot doing your … Zipping around cleaning stuff up. Interestingly, we live closer to the time “The Jetsons” was set in than we do the time “The Jetsons” was made. We’re closer to the world it saw then the world it came from. We don’t have a Rosie, right?
The thing is, is what all the Moore’s Law kinds of things that are happening in the robotics world, they’re not doubling every two years, they’re doubling slower than that. Robots are hard because you’ve got the kinetic world you’re interacting with, you’ve got power issues, you’ve got materials and they’re very hard, so it’s natural that computers and AI are kind of evolving at a pace that’s dizzying, while robots seem to be taking longer and longer and longer.”
Listen, learn, laugh, and enjoy this interview with Tamsen!
Show Full Transcript
“We have to do this quickly or somebody else is going to do it.” Which by the way is almost always not true, in my experience. When you’re in it, you feel like everything’s urgent.”
“At some point you have to know when the writing’s on the wall. A lot of times, people don’t and they just keep trying to run that idea, and it could take years or decades out of their life.”
“The thing is, the thing about the failing is that you do … For me, I think there’s lots of people who have much better track records that I have. I’m willing to shoot stuff very quickly. What I never give up on is my business. PageWise eventually sold for a number that was satisfying to the shareholders, but and so it’s like you don’t give up, you just say, ‘That wasn’t a good idea.’”
“I remember back during the boom, I read a magazine and I don’t know … Anyway, somebody had a t-shirt that said, “I am not my stock price,” and you kind of get that. Whatever my company stock is trading for today, that is not my value or where I wrap my value up to.”
“I wrote another book that’s coming out at the end of the year by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It’s called “The Fourth Age,” and it’s about robots and artificial intelligence, and whether computers can become conscious, and so forth. What really intrigued me about those questions … The first two especially, are the robots going to take all the jobs, and is AI going to kind of take over, is it something to fear? What really intrigued me about them is how informed, smart people had radically different opinions about them.”
“What machines are really good at doing is sorting through large amounts of data looking for things in a way that … It’s kind of like we don’t … The way our memories are set up, we don’t remember data really, we just kind of remember conclusions for the most part.”
“The cool thing about it is all technology, almost all technology seems to behave in that exact same way. They don’t double every two years, but they double every N years, so maybe every 20 years something doubles, or every six months something doubles. The power of that doubling is something that humans radically underestimate because very few things in our lives, nothing in the physical world doubles and doubles and doubles and doubles and doubles and doubles.”
THANKS, BYRON REESE!
If you enjoyed this session with Byron Reese, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out at Twitter:
His TEDxAustin speech:
The central message is of his speech is that greatness is not a destiny granted to a few, but a decision available to anyone. Reese notes that it is the choices that we make that will ultimately shape our future and provide us with the opportunities to achieve greatness.
Reese believes that the acceleration rate of innovation and adoption of technology has made it easier for anyone to achieve greatness. Technology multiplies what we are able to do and people can have a bigger impact and better standard of living. We can be more productive and choose to live life to the fullest.
“Why I Believe The Future Will Be Amazing”:
Byron Reese discusses his views on the vast opportunities and possibilities that await humanity in the future.
Byron Reese has been building and running Internet and software companies for twenty years. Of the five companies he either started or joined early, two went public, two were sold, and one resulted in a merger. In addition to serving in a wide range of senior management roles, from CEO to VP of Marketing to Chief Innovation Officer, Byron has produced diverse body of patentable work, authored an award-winning book about the future of technology, and given dozens of talks to both technical and non-technical audiences around the world.
Bloomberg Businessweek credits Byron with having “quietly pioneered a new breed of media company.” Wired Magazine describes him as “a tall Texan who serves as Demand’s chief innovation officer and who created the idea-spawning algorithm that lies at the heart of Demand’s process.” The Financial Times of London reported that he “is typical of the new wave of internet entrepreneurs out to turn the economics of the media industry on its head.” And Business Insider concluded that Byron “seems like a kooky – and awesome guy… We’d love to buy him a beer.”
In addition, Byron and his work has been featured in hundreds of news outlets, including New York Times, Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, NPR, and the LA Times Magazine. Byron released a book in 2013 called “Infinite Progress: How the Internet and technology will end ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger and war.” When he is not busy working, Byron can be found traveling to places like North Korea and Cuba, or off giving speeches or sequestered in a hotel room writing. He and his wife Sharon homeschool their four young children. He can be found at http://www.byronreese.com.
On your phone? Click here to write us an iTunes review and help us reach and help more people!
Jason Treu is an executive coach. He has "in the trenches experience" helping build a billion dollar company and working with many Fortune 100 companies. He's worked alongside well-known CEOs such as Steve Jobs, Mark Hurd (at HP), Mark Cuban, and many others. Through his coaching, his clients have met industry titans such as Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Peter Diamandis, Chris Anderson, and many others. He's also helped his clients create more than $1 billion dollars in wealth over the past three years and secure seats on influential boards such as TED and xPrize. His bestselling book, Social Wealth, the how-to-guide on building extraordinary business relationships that influence others, has sold more than 45,000 copies. He's been a featured guest on 500+ podcasts, radio and TV shows. Jason has his law degree and masters in communications from Syracuse University