Entrepreneur - Futurist - Technologist
Companies Taken Public
Entrepreneur and CEO
As the CEO and publisher of Gigaom, a technology research and analysis firm, Byron 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 enjoys talking about the intersection of technology, history and the future to both technical and non-technical audiences around the world.
“Every year the percentage of billionaires who made their own money as opposed to inheriting it, goes up. Google and Facebook alone minted 12 new billionaires between them. That’s the power of the technology. It is now easier than ever for those with modest means and a great idea to reach the entire world.” – Byron Reese
Byron in Action
Watch the Demo Reel above and get to know Byron via a personal introduction and select clips of previous talks.
Byron keynotes at CANHEIT, Canada's National Higher Ed IT Conference, hosted by Queen's University.
Byron presents "Achieving Greatness Is A Choice," at TEDxAustin.
Byron's keynote at the PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam.
An interview with Byron on DisrupTV.
Voices in AI
In this episode, Byron and Hugo discuss consciousness, machine learning and more.
Voices in AI
Published by Gigaom, the Voices in AI podcast is hosted by Byron and serves listeners interested in the implication of AI beyond those of the daily news, who want to understand the metaphysical implications of AI as well as the practical ones.
Presented as an hour-long, one-on-one conversation about artificial intelligence with the leading thinkers in the field, 50 episodes have been recorded to date and will be released steadily over the next three months. These include interviews with James Barratt, Manoj Saxena, Soumith Chintala, Pedro Domingos, Esther Dyson, Martin Ford, Stephen Wolfram, Hugo Larochelle, Tim O'Reilly, Nova Spivack and more.
Opening with the same question, Byron asks guests “What is artificial intelligence?” Why? Because he says, “no two people ever give the same answer. There simply isn’t an agreed-upon definition. This is actually quite telling, and the launching point of a great conversation.”
The podcast addresses all the big questions posed in his book "The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers and the Future of Humanity":
- Will AI take all the jobs, or create enough new ones?
- Will machines become conscious, and if so, how would we know?
- Is artificial general intelligence something we should fear, or welcome?
Featured Episodes Include:
- Yoshua Bengio - A Canadian computer scientist, most noted for his work on artificial neural networks and deep learning. Bengio has been a faculty member at the Université de Montréal since 1993, heads the MILA (Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms) and is co-director of the Learning in Machines & Brains project of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
- Oren Etzioni - Oren Etzioni is a professor of Computer Science and CEO of the Allen Institue for Artificial Intelligence. He is also a venture partner at the Madrona Venture Group.
- Mark Rolston - Cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of argodesign, Mark is an early pioneer of software user experience and helped forge the disciplines around user interface design and mobile platforms. A veteran design leader, innovator and patent holder, he is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People, and he was nominated as Fast Company’s World’s Greatest Designer of 2014.
- Jeff Dean - An American computer scientist and software engineer, Jeff is currently a Google Senior Fellow in the Systems and Infrastructure Group.
- Daphne Koller - A professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. Her general research area is artificial intelligence and its applications in the biomedical sciences.
- Nick Bostrom - Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford. He is most noted for his work on existential risk, human enhancement ethics, superintelligent risk and more. Bostrom is also the author of "Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies," a New York Times bestseller.
“Voices in AI is my favorite project right now. The idea that I get to talk to the giants of AI for an hour about one of my favorite subjects just blows my mind. There are no bigger questions in technology than the ones we address on the show. I just love that.” - Byron Reese
In this episode, Byron talks about the kill decision and autonomous weapons.
Delivered by Byron daily, and sponsored by Gigaom, the AI Minute podcast provides listeners unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI. It addresses a wide range of issues, from the difficulties of AI, its limits, how it is (and isn’t) similar to the human brain, whether a machine can “think” or “feel,” the effects of automation on employment, and so forth.
Access the podcast and transcripts at Gigaom AI Minute. There is also an Alexa skill that you can enable that will make the AI Minute part of your daily flash briefing. In addition, you can get the AI Minute on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or via RSS.
Byron on SantaMail.org
“When I was a kid, my parents always wrote me a letter from Santa, which was magic to me. Went I had children, I wanted to do something like that as well. Then I realized all parents probably would as well. So I started what I think was the first Letters from Santa business, SantaMail.org. You fill out an online form, and we mail a letter from North Pole, Alaska to your child. It was one of the few things I did that was instant success, and we have sold over half a million of them in total.”
Byron on HappyNews.com
“People tend to overestimate the chances of something bad happening to them, like getting murdered. I think this has to do with the “If it bleeds, it leads” media culture, amped up to 24x7. I believed that a news site to balance that out would be a great success. So I started HappyNews.com, which reported positive, upbeat news. Everyone told me that ‘You can’t make money off of happy news.’ It turns out they were right. Although we had a large audience, the site bled money. I’m now thinking of relaunching it, however. It’s an idea that I still believe in.”
Byron on ExpertVillage.com
“When it became obvious that dial-up Internet would be replaced by broadband, I immediately decided to bet big on Internet video. I knew people would rather watch something than read it, because more people watched TV than read newspapers. So, even before there was a YouTube, I started making videos. I hired 3000 freelance filmmakers to make 120,000 videos under the brand Expert Village. One day Google bought YouTube and video was the hottest thing out there, and I had the largest library in the world. So I sold that company, and even today, the Expert Village channel on YouTube has billions of views, twice as many, in fact, as Kanye has.”
Interview with The Huffington Post: The Power of Artificial Intelligence is to Make Better Decisions
Technomics Radio Show on KGO 810: Automation Innovation with Byron Reese Part 1
Technomics Radio Show on KGO 810: Automation Innovation with Byron Reese Part 2
“Over the past decade, Reese has quietly pioneered a new breed of media company.”
“Reese is 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.”
“Reese’s credo is simple: ‘News should give you an accurate view of the world.’ He may have hit a nerve.”
“[He] seems like a kooky — and awesome — guy. We’d love to buy him a beer.”
“The key to Reese’s success is organization.”
“Byron Reese is typical of the new wave of internet entrepreneurs out to turn the economics of the media industry on its head.”
“In fact, Reese says, good news has been trumping bad for some time: “We’ve cured childhood diseases, ended legal segregation, lengthened the average lifespan and improved the quality of life for millions of people.”
"How We Will Age Within 20 Years" by Byron Reese