Ray Kurzweil inventor, futurist and engineer who has radically advanced the fields of speech, text, and audio technology. He’s also one of our finest thinkers, revered for his dizzying yet convincing writing on the advance of technology, the limits of biology, and the future of the human species.
Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him no. 8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world’s largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame , established by the US Patent Office.
He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the no.1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the no.1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
In 2009, he unveiled Singularity University, an institution that aims to “assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies.”
He is best known for presenting a thought provoking, long-term, big picture view of the future of technology and its implications for society; explaining the exponential growth of technology (what he calls, “The Law of Accelerating Returns”) and its path towards ubiquitous computing, reverse engineering the brain, full immersion virtual reality, nanotechnology, the merging of human and machine, and ultimately extreme human life extension. He describes a bright future in which technology will provide solutions to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems.
A widely sought speaker, he has given keynote presentations at many leading venues, including PC Expo, SIGGRAPH, TED, ICASSP, the American Psychiatric Association, Agenda, and many others. His presentations to diverse audiences combine wit and keen insight into contemporary issues of technology and its impact on society. His lectures often include appearances by “Ramona,” his “virtual female alter ego,” and other engaging demonstrations of cutting edge technologies that Ray Kurzweil and his teams have developed.
Topics (to name but a few)
- Science, Technology, and Invention: Strategies to Create the Future
- Transformation and the Pace of Change
- The Web Within Us: When Minds and Machines Become
- Nine Steps to Living Well Forever
- Human Body Version 2.0: When Humans Transcend Biology
- Extending our Vision and our Life Expectancy through Accelerating Technologies
- How Far will Technology Transform Humanity?
- The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Higher Education and Society
- The Future of Blindness and Disabilities in an Age of Accelerating Technology
- Technology, Neuroscience and the Future of Cognitive Disabilities