Exploring the intersection of history, technology and the future, Byron shares his technological visions for solving many of our global problems and speaks with the unrivaled authority of an accomplished high-tech trailblazer, inventor, entrepreneur, and the wisdom of a life-long historian. Reese started his first business as an undergraduate at Rice University. Two companies he started were later sold: Hot Data, ultimately to Pitney Bowes; and PageWise, the parent company of ExpertVillage.com, to Demand Media. He currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Demand Media, overseeing research and development. The company has filed and received patents on Reese’s work in disciplines from crowdsourcing to content creation to psychographics. Author of “Infinite Progress: How Technology and the Internet Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War,” Byron’senthusiasm and talent for deciphering our common destiny is overshadowed only by his inspiring sense of optimism.
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 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 Nov. 2017 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
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. 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 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 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. 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
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 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 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?
“It was a pleasure having Byron Reese on our campus.
Not only was his presentation to nearly 400 faculty stimulating and well-received, he also was personable and generous with his time in discussing ideas with faculty before and after the presentation. Byron’s visionary approach and dynamic style provided an instant connection to the audience.”
“Byron’s talk was spectacular. He took the time to speak with me in advance about our event and crafted a presentation that perfectly fit our theme. He kept the audience engaged throughout the presentation both through the thought provoking topics he discussed as well as the visual images he included. On top of all this, he was exceptionally easy to work with before, during and after his presentation. He truly made my job easier.”
“Byron was an absolute hit and everyone truly enjoyed hearing his insights on the intersection of history, technology and our future. His passion and energy on the subject matter is unmatched! Further, we greatly appreciated all of the time he spent with our team and guests.”