Chairman, Kurzweil Technologies & A Director of Engineering, Google
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 #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS selected Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries. He is considered one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a 30-year track record of accurate predictions.
Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed 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.
Kurzweil 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 Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office.
He has received 20 honorary doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. Kurzweil has authored 7 books, 5 of which have been national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in science.
Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity Is Near, was a New York Times bestseller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy. His latest New York Times bestseller is How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed.
His website, KurzweilAI.net, tracks daily breakthroughs in science and technology and has over three million new readers annually.
In 2012, Ray Kurzweil was appointed a Director of Engineering at Google, heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.
Kurzweil speaks frequently to diverse audiences around the world, presenting a provocative, long-term, big picture view of the future of technology and its implications for society. In his presentations he explains the exponential growth of technology (in his terms, “The Law of Accelerating Returns”) and its path toward reverse engineering the brain, nanotechnology, the merging of human and machine, and, ultimately, extreme human life extension.
These ideas form the core thesis of Kurzweil’s lectures and his best-selling book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Kurzweil tailors his lectures to audiences and often speaks on: Innovation, Health and Medicine, Education, Business & Investing, Energy, and Disabilities & Assistive Technologies.
Ray Kurzweil gives over fifty presentations around the world each year. In 2009 he spoke in eight countries to influential groups including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Fortune Magazine, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin, Credit Suisse, TED, and Edwards Lifesciences.
Kurzweil’s far reaching and optimistic views on the future of technology and its implications for society resonate with a wide range of audiences including top U.S. security officials, senior healthcare policy makers, private investors, scientists, business executives, and academic communities. His research and remarks focus on the exponential growth of technology (in his terms “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. Kurzweil often shapes his presentations towards the following topics:
Ray tailors each of his speeches to his audience and speaks on Innovation, Healthcare, Education, Energy, Investing/Forecasting among other topics.
A sampling of speech topics, titles, and abstracts
"Ray’s keynote set the right inspirational tone for the entire summit. I believe his keynote will be talked about as one of the iMedia "greats" for years to come."- Content Director, iMedia Summits, iMedia Communications