Voice Tech Podcast

The Fourth Age - Byron Reese, Gigaom - Voice Tech Podcast ep.074

August 17, 2020 Carl Robinson Season 1 Episode 74
Voice Tech Podcast
The Fourth Age - Byron Reese, Gigaom - Voice Tech Podcast ep.074
Show Notes

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When we talk about the way that AI will shape the future, there are such polarized beliefs, with one camp fearing it and the other vehemently dismissing these fear-filled claims. Today’s guest, Byron Reese, believes that these opposing views stem from fundamentally different world views. 

Byron is the former CEO of Gigaom, a well-respected technology publication and tech research company that writes about trends and tech that business leaders need to know about and understand. He is also a prolific author, host of the Voices in AI podcast, and futurist. 

This episode covers a wide range of topics, and we kick off by delving into the world of voice tech. As Byron has used many of these platforms, numerous questions have come to the surface for him. We ponder whether our interactions with these technologies may spill over into our daily human to human communication as well as how these platforms may corrode human rights. 

From there, the discussion moves to whether we, as humans, are machines. As a question Byron asks all his podcast guests, he feels that the reductionist answers he frequently hears do not account for the inexplicable ways our humanity manifests itself. Then, we discuss Byron’s book, The Fourth Age, where he unpacks how this technological period will ultimately shape history. He delves into why the advent of speech, agriculture, and the invention of writing and the wheel, were historical turning points, which depart from the obvious reasons people may think. 

After this, we get into the hotly contested AI vs jobs debate. Byron’s insights into why the proliferation of this technology will not result in net job losses are refreshing and backed by historical data. Looking at the jobs technology destroys alone does not account for the opportunities created. 

We round the show off with Byron discussing the importance of following your passion, why the ability to learn new things is the most important skill we have, and what’s in store for him. Be sure to listen to this extra-special episode!


Quotes from the show

[04:38] We live in a world where all the people who are the leaders in the field are accessible

[19:35] If machines can do it, it’s a waste of people to get people to do it.

[38:20] How can half of all jobs vanish every 50 years and we never have systemic unemployment?

[39:44] Can everyone do a job just a little bit harder than the job they have today?

[46:28] The greatest under-utilized resource on the planet are people.

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