“The Fourth Age” Media Kit
Thank you for your interest in “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity.”
Below you will find details on the book, including excerpts, the prologue, Byron’s bio, interview questions, story copy and accolades. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, to arrange an interview or request an advanced copy.
Title: The Fourth Age
Subtitle: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity
Author: Byron Reese
Imprint: Atria Books / Original
Page Count: 352 pages
INSIDE THE FOURTH AGE
A great turning point in the history of Homo sapiens is at hand. AI and robotics are poised to redefine what it means to be human. So . . . what exactly does that mean for you?
In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese suggests that technology has fundamentally reshaped humanity just three times in history: 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to language; 10,000 years ago, we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare; 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and writing, which lead to the nation state.
Now, we are on the doorstep of a fourth great change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background and context on how we got to this point, and how—rather than what—we should think about the complex web of topics we’ll soon all be facing: Machine consciousness, automation, drastic shifts in employment and the workforce, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, the ethics of AI, autonomous warfare, superintelligence, and extreme prosperity, to name only a few.
By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?” Reese leads the reader through a fascinating discussion along the cutting edge of robotics and AI. He provides a framework with which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and grasp how they will transform humanity.
This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to move beyond the warring viewpoints of techno pundits, as we rocket toward this fourth species-changing rendezvous with technology.
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. Byron Reese’ book “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how—rather than what—we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, super-intelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity. By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?” Reese leads readers through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they’ll transform humanity.
As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, Byron Reese’ book “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species. In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history: – 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to language. – 10,000 years ago, we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare. – 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and writing, which lead to the nation state.
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how—rather than what—we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, super-intelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.
By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?” Reese leads readers through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and their transformative effects on humanity.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
MEDIA PRAISE “THE FOURTH AGE’
“Entertaining and Engaging,” — The New York Times
- “A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, society and work, The Fourth Age examines the crucial questions we need to consider as new developments gain momentum and take hold.” — J.P. Morgan
- “Explores the next stage of humanity’s evolution—the age of artificial intelligence and its potentially “species-changing” implications.” — Publisher’s Weekly
- “This book is not only timely: it is desperately needed as a resource to come to grips with where we find ourselves now and in the not too distant future.” — San Francisco Review of books
- “Timely, highly informative, and certainly optimistic.” — BOOKLIST
- “I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Byron’s book.” — Tonya Hall, ZD Net
- “Consider The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity, by Byron Reese.” — Barron’s
- “Reading the book seems like we are on a technological ‘safari’,” — SayPeople.com
- “A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, society and work, The Fourth Age examines the crucial questions we need to consider as new developments gain momentum and take hold.” — Business Tech
- “Reese leads us through a complicated discussion about AI and robotics, and give us a basis to start interrogating the fourth industrial revolution, and what we must do to navigate it ‘appropriately.'” — Tech Financials
- “With a deep understanding of human history, tech entrepreneur and futurist Byron Reese offers a nuanced understanding of the change that is at our doorsteps…” — The Hindu Businessline
- “The Fourth Age” focuses on deconstructing the beliefs that undergird the many different views on robots, jobs, AI, consciousness, and life.” — Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at SXSW
- “one hell of a read”, “Books like this can become self-fulfilling prophecies.” “A must-read book for the summer” and “I couldn’t recommend it more highly.” — TechNewsWorld
THOUGHT LEADERS PRAISE “THE FOURTH AGE”
“A must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, society and work, The Fourth Age examines the crucial questions we need to consider as new developments gain momentum and take hold.” — J.P. Morgan Reading List Collection 2018
- “If you only read just one book about the AI revolution, make it this one.” — John Mackey, co-founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market
- “This is an incredible, astonishing book. It’s one of the best I’ve read in the last twenty years, and I read a lot.” — John Smart, CEO Foresight University
- “I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating look at history, and the focus on possible futures.” — Frank Diana, Futurist
- “The Fourth Age” focuses on deconstructing the beliefs that undergird the many different views on robots, jobs, AI, consciousness, and life.” — Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at SXSW
- “A classic in understanding the impact of disruptive technology on the human experience and evolution.” — John Mattison, Chief Health Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente
- “I highly recommend the book, it’s great … the societal issues Byron raises are worth reading.” — Chris Moose, Partner, Digital Practice and Cluster Leader at IBM
- “The Fourth Age = A+ For Content,” — Emerge Marketing Strategies
- “Reese frames the deepest questions of our time in clear language that invites the reader to make their own choices … As he does so, Reese reveals himself to be an optimist and urges us to use technology to build a better world.” — Bob Metcalfe, UT Austin Professor of Innovation, Ethernet inventor, 3Com founder
- “A very worthy read!” — Nancy Giordano, Strategic Futurist
- May 2018 Business Bestseller — 800 CEO Read
- “The best book in AI, robots, and their implications for the future that I have read in at least a decade,” — Chairman at WIN-911 Software
- “A friendly, down-to-earth, seminar-style book that gathers all the buzzwords and scary headlines and sorts through it for us with convincing simplicity and clarity.” — Jim Williams, CEO MustHaveMenus
- “An outstanding book that is not only factually optimistic about technology, but winds up with a pretty solid assessment that we might be able to just keep improving.” — Jeff Bennett, CEO Digital Properties
MEDIA PRAISE BYRON
“Reese believes that planet Earth is ultimately a pretty good place and it’s getting better all the time.” — Los Angeles Times Magazine
- Claire Wyckoff – New York Journal of Books – “Mr. Reese writes with the authority of someone who has developed groundbreaking technologies and made money doing it. . . . he writes as an evangelist.”
- The Washington Post – “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.”
- Business Insider – “[He] seems like a kooky — and awesome — guy. We’d love to buy him a beer.”
- Entrepreneur Magazine – “The key to Reese’s success is organization.”
- Wired Magazine – “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.”
- Entrepreneur – “The key to Reese’s success is organization.”
- Financial Times of London – “Byron Reese is typical of the new wave of internet entrepreneurs out to turn the economics of the media industry on its head.”
- Reader’s Digest – “Reese’s credo is simple: ‘News should give you an accurate view of the world.’ He may have hit a nerve.”
- Emerge Marketing Strategies – “The Fourth Age = A+ For Content,”
“I read your book Infinite Progress and I love it,” – President of Mexico Vicente Fox in an invitation for Byron to present the book at the Presidential Library.
- “Infinite Progress is a prophetic book that deserves to be widely read. Drawing on Byron Reese’s insights about both technology and history, its energetic optimism about the future is a wonderful inspiration.” – Stephen Wolfram, Founder & CEO of Wolfram Research, creator of Mathematica & A New Kind of Science, and creator of Wolfram|Alpha
- A few years ago I read your book, “Infinite Progress”. I admit to being an initial skeptic about some of the things I read there, but as I thought more about it, I was able to feel much more optimistic about the future. It was fun to let my imagination run wild about the possibilities the “free” energy would have for transforming the world. Thanks for making this important contribution to my life. – Dr. Michael W. Thompson, Ph.D., Professor: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Baylor
- I’ve never read any books about the Future before, but I’ve already finished your book over the past several days. I really enjoyed [it] and found it greatly inspiring. – Jacob Van der Wiel
- I want to tell you how inspiring your book, Infinite Progress is to read. Really gets the blood flowing thinking about the near future. Your thoughts on disruptive innovation got my mind moving in directions that I thought were not possible with people my age, 60. – Sam Lanni
- My name is Steve Whitt. I am writing to you from Roto, an exhibit design firm in Dublin, Ohio. I am working with the folks at the Science Museum of Virginia on a new exhibition called “Speed.” I recently finished your book Infinite Progress and it was quite inspiring for me. – Steve Whitt
- I am really impressed with your book Infinite Progress. Have you ever thought about speaking to High School students? I am planning to create an annual Conference Event of the type of TED. But of course…. smaller. How could I book one of your talks? – Ricardo Melendez
- I’m halfway through your book and so far it is a must-read for people that want to learn what is going to happen in the future. – Nathan Waldron
- I LOVE Infinite Progress Byron. You rocked it. It makes the best case for science and technology progress that I’ve ever read, and as a tech foresight educator I’ve read a lot of books in this space….I’m a HUGE fan of your work and perspective. – John M Smart
- I enjoyed your book, “Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War”. Last year I offered my home schooled 7 nieces and nephews (who live in Dallas and San Angelo Texas) $500 if they would read the book “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” and write a 5 page paper. Only my 13 year old nephew Nathan did it. This year, I am giving him the same offer with your book as I think it could make a significant impact on his life. Your book gives a roadmap of what the future may hold. Thanks for writing it. – Doug Hohulin
- I was stimulated and encouraged by your book. I hope it meets with wide circulation and lots of reviews by readers across the political and economic spectrum. It deserves to be read. – Paul and Kelly Mastin
- I recently finished reading Infinite Progress and am starting to write a review of the book for our audiences. I must say that reading your book (along with Alec Foege’s The Tinkerers) has energized me at a time when it often appears we are surrounded by walls of ignorance [fueled in part by such books as Deep Green Resistance. – Duggan Flanakin
- Just finished your book – GREAT read! Love the positive spirit – genuinely inspiring. Reminded me a lot of the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, but with a modern, technological (and occasionally funny) vibe. – John Fiorella
- I really do think Infinite Progress is an incredible book. Most of what I hear from friends and family is that we are in the downward of society. I can’t wait to share the insights from Infinite Progress with them. – Tim Deniston
Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease. Poverty. Hunger, and War by @byronreese, is fascinating. – James P. Pinkerton @JamesPPinkerton, Co-Chair at RATE Coalition
Vincent David Osborn @TheAcciCyclist – @byronreese ‘Infinite Progress’ is absolutely brilliant – dare I say. even life-changing. I loved it. You have made an optimist out of me.
Buffer @buffer – What book or blog has been the most fun to read in recent memory? Reply: Kathryn Bonesteel @BonesteelPR – @buffer Infinite Progress by the brilliant byronreese!
Priscilla Jones @PatriotWriter 15 Feb 2015 – “We will defeat hunger in this century.” @VicenteFoxQue inspired by futurist @byronreese’s Infinite Progress
Matt Mazur @mhmazur – What books changed the way you see the world? / Reply: DomainNameWire.com @DomainNameWire -@mhmazur Infinite Progress by Byron Reese.
Terry @Dead5quirrel – @byronreese Read your book “Infinite Progress” while on holiday & in love with it a little bit. It’s brilliant.
Gordon Currie @eldoren – Reading the book Infinite Progress by Byron Reese Excellent book that would appeal to many! #sustainability #techology #futurist
Luca Conti @lucaconti – Very very interesting book: Infinite Progress: A New Book by Byron Reese
Christian Bok @christianbok – They publish a manifesto about the end of civilization: / Reply: Marienbad My Love @marienbadmylove – @christianbok Meanwhile, a different “they” writes about how technology will create a dramatically better world.
Byron Reese is the publisher of tech news site Gigaom and the founder of several high-tech companies. He has obtained or has pending numerous patents in disciplines as varied as crowdsourcing, content creation, and psychographics. The websites he has launched, which cover the intersection of technology, business, science and history, have together received over a billion visitors. He is the author of the acclaimed book, Infinite Progress: How Technology and the Internet Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War, has served on both public and private boards of directors, and founded several non-profit organizations.
There are the people who hope the future will be better, then there are the people who reason the future will be better, Byron is the second variety. Both a futurist and optimist, Byron believes we are approaching a Fourth Age for humanity that promises to be infinitely better than anything we have seen before.
Byron’s upcoming book, “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” will be released by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, on April, 242018. He is also the author of the award-winning “Infinite Progress: How Technology and the Internet Will End Ignorance, Disease, Hunger, Poverty, and War.”
In addition, Byron is the CEO and Publisher of Gigaom, one of the world’s leading technology research companies, produces and hosts Gigaom’s podcasts Voices in AI and The AI Minute. and regularly contributes to Gigaom Publisher’s Corner. 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 at Demand Media, 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. Byron brings his experience as a technologist, his passion for history, and his proven business acumen to illuminate how today’s technology can solve many of our biggest global challenges. As a lifelong entrepreneur with multiple IPOs and successful exits under his belt, Byron also 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.”
Bloomberg Businessweek credits Byron with having “quietly pioneered a new breed of media company.” 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.”
Byron and his work have 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.
Specialties: Entrepreneurship, executive leadership, product conception and creation, and an optimistic can-do, scrappy, “anything is possible” attitude. As a public speaker, 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.
IMAGES OF BYRON
“We are entering a world of more choice and more opportunity than ever before, and the best response is to expand our dreams and expectations, not our fears and concerns.” – Byron Reese
“Robots and artificial intelligence will change the world, empowering humans to be more productive and live better lives. We will use these technologies to end disease, hunger, and poverty. We should no more fear these than our ancestors should have feared steam power and electricity.” – Byron Reese
“I love thinking about the future. I love technology. I earn my living by it. I live it, breathe it, and am fascinated by all it has to oﬀer us, all it has done for us. Thus, I encourage others to imagine the endless potential within each of us to create a tomorrow infinitely better than today as we enter a new Fourth Age for humanity.” – Byron Reese
“Technology is empowering. It augments us. And yet today, many are being told they should fear technology. In my writing, I reject that and offer a different narrative, of how technology can bring about a peaceful and prosperous world for all.” – Byron Reese”
THE FUTURE OF WORK
“Workers today should be no more fearful of AI and robots than our great grandparents should have been fearful of mechanization and electricity. Those devices changed the workplace, but they did so by empowering workers, not replacing them. This is what will happen this time as well.” – Byron Reese
“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
“When 90% of people farmed, the 10% that didn’t undoubtedly looked upon those that did as capable of little else. The idea that those very people could become lab techs, marketing directors, and ice sculptors would have struck them as ludicrous. ‘They are just plain farmers,’ would have been the common retort. But people farmed because we needed farmers, not because that was all they could do. And I believe that a great part of the workforce needs to be liberated from the drudgery of doing the work a machine can do.” – Byron Reese
INNOVATION AND EDUCATION
“Think about AT&T, 3M, NCR and Geico. They are all acronyms. And if you know what they stand for, you will notice something interesting: None of them simply do the thing that is in their name. These companies transformed themselves. And yet, why doesn’t Blockbuster own streaming video? Why doesn’t Kodak dominate in the digital camera world? These cases, and many more like it, are examples of entrenched companies failing to adopt a transformative technology.” – Byron Reese
“Our world is full of countless institutions, each of which evolved over that long history to fill a specific purpose. The institutions upon which our world rests will play a big part in how the future unfolds.” – Byron Reese
RELIANCE ON AI
“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
“There will be oracle (i.e. technology) that will say, ‘This will be the best thing for you to do.’” – Byron Reese
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- Writer and Author of “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” and “Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War.”
- CEO and Publisher of Gigaom
- Podcast Producer and Host of Voices in AI and the The AI Minute
- Nationally sought after Public Speaker
- Lifelong Technologist and Entrepreneur
- Of the six companies Byron either started or joined early, two went public, two were sold, and one resulted in a merger.
- Why AI is good for humanity
- How automation creates, not destroys, jobs
- Ethics of AI and regulating morality
- Why so many fear AI
- Why experts disagree so intensely about the merits and pitfalls of AI
- The coming shortage of human workers
- The end of poverty, hunger, disease, and war
- Why AI is the best thing to ever happen to humanity
- Income inequality and equity
- The end of dehumanizing jobs
- Automation, AI, and the Future of Work
- The Jobs of Tomorrow
- Innovation in a rapidly changing World
- Can AI find a cure for death?
- Education in the 21st century
- While so many people believe AI will destroy jobs, why do you believe AI will actually create more work for humans?
- What is the biggest threat you see that #AI poses to Humanity?
- How do we address the moral and ethical aspects of #AI?
- Do you see AI eventually helping humanity form a Global code of ethics, a universal standard of morality?
- What will education look like in the 21st century
- As we learn to rely more and more on AI are we at risk of diminishing our own intelligence?
- For a positive look at the promise of #AI check out “Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers and the Future of Humanity,” by @ByronReese
- Futurist and author @ByronReese says #AI promises more jobs and a better planet. Check out his new book, “Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers and the Future of Humanity.”
- Fear of #automation is just like last century’s fear of the assembly line says futurist @ByronReese and author of “Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers and the Future of Humanity.”