Inventor, Author, Futurist, and “Restless Genius”
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 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 four national bestselling books. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 bestselling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
Ray Kurzweil is best known for 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 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. These ideas form the core thesis of Kurzweil's lectures and his latest book The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Viking).
Kurzweil often covers the following and more in his presentations:
-When and how will information technology progress over the next 50 years?
-When will we see full immersion virtual reality and how will it impact business, medicine and healthcare?
-How will businesses manage innovation in an era of accelerating technologies?
-When and how will human level artificial intelligence be developed?
-How will nanotechnology impact our bodies and brains?
-What are the challenges and opportunities of transcending biology: of nanobots, fuel cells, and bioterrorism?
-How is health and medicine becoming an information technology? What are the implications?
-How will the environment sustain itself?
Kurzweil’s presentations are relevant across many industries and fields. After gathering background information about the event, audience, and host, he is happy to (and accustomed to) tailor his speech.