Ray Kurzweil

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Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil
Kurzweil on or prior to July 5, 2005
Birthday/Birthplace Raymond Kurzweil
(1948-02-12) February 12, 1948
Queens, New York City, U.S.
Citizenship American
College(s) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.)
Profession(s) Author, entrepreneur, futurist and inventor
Employer Google Inc.
Wife/Husband Sonya Rosenwald Kurzweil (1975–present)
Awards Won
  • Grace Murray Hopper Award (1978)
  • National Medal of Technology (1999)
Official Website Official website

Raymond Kurzweil (Massachusetts, February 12, 1948) is an American inventor, as well as a musician, entrepreneur, writer and scientist specialized in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Since 2012 he is engineering director at Google.

Expert systems technologist and Artificial Intelligence and eminent futurist. He is currently chairman of the computer company Kurzweil Technologies, which is dedicated to developing electronic devices of human-machine conversation and applications for people with disabilities and chancellor and promoter of the University of the Singularity of Silicon Valley.Raymond Kurzweil is a pioneer of Law of accelerated performance and history of technology, the accelerated change is an increase in the rate of technological progress

Ray Kurzweil’s Biography


Raymond Kurzweil grew up in the Queens district of New York City. His parents were Jews who emigrated from Austria just before the start of World War II. He was raised under the influence of universalist unitarianism, which exposed him to a wide variety of creeds.

His father was a musician and composer and his mother was devoted to the plastic arts. His uncle, an engineer at Bell Labs, taught him the basics of computers, and in his youth he was an avid reader of science fiction books [citation & nbsp; required]. In 1963, at the age of fifteen, he created his first computer program. Designed to process statistical data, the program was used by IBM researchers, and later, at the institute, it created a sophisticated pattern recognition program that analyzed the works of classical composers and synthesized their own songs in a similar style. /p>

His aptitude for invention was so impressive that in 1965 he was invited to a CBS television show, I’ve Got a Secret, where he played a piano piece that had been composed by a computer Later that same year, he won the first prize at the International Science Fair for the invention and also received recognition at the Westinghouse Talent Search, where he was personally congratulated by President Lyndon B. Johnson.


In 1968, during his second year at MIT, Kurzweil started a company that used a computer program to identify students between schools and institutes. The program, called “Select College Consulting Program”, was designed by himself and compared thousands of different criteria on each school with the answers to a questionnaire sent by each student. When he turned 20 he sold the company to Harcourt, Brace & amp; World for $ 100,000, more royalties.

In 1970 he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Literature from MIT.

In 1974 Kurzweil started his most ambitious venture, Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc., to look for a technology that would be able to teach computers to recognize printed characters from a wide variety of sources. Thus, Raymond and his colleagues created the first OCR “omni-font” (for any type of letter). The most interesting application of this technology was the ability that gave a computer to read aloud a printed document to blind people. This idea introduced new obstacles in his company, because at that time there were still no computer scanners or voice synthesizers. Thus, in addition to the first full OCR, Kurzweil’s company finally developed the first computer scanner and the first text-to-speech synthesizer that, combined, became the first printed document machine for the blind.

The singer Stevie Wonder was interested in this invention of Kurzweil. Both established a great friendship that led Kurzweil to carry out research in the field of computer-generated music.

In 1980 Kurzweil sold the company Kurzweil Computer Products to Xerox, a company that saw an opportunity in these technologies to return to paper from the electronic media. Kurzweil continued as a consultant to Xerox until 1995. Kurzweil Computer Products became a subsidiary of Xerox, known as ScanSoft for a long time and now as Nuance. Currently the OCR developed by Kurzweil is called Nuance Textbridge and occupies a predominant position in the market [citation & nbsp; required].

In 1982 he founded Kurzweil Music Systems, as a result of Stevie Wonder’s idea of ​​using computers to obtain sounds similar to those played with traditional instruments. The Kurzweil 250 (K250) synthesizer was invented in 1984, the first computer-based instrument capable of realistically reproducing the sound of other instruments of an orchestra [citation & nbsp; required]. With it, tests were performed in which professional musicians were unable to distinguish the sound emitted by the synthesizer from that emitted by the real instrument imitated.


Kurzweil also started the Kurzweil Applied Intelligence company for the development of computer voice recognition. In 1987, the first voice recognition system was launched. This technology had important medical applications, being currently used in ten percent of emergency rooms in the United States [appointment & nbsp; required].

In 1996 Kurzweil founded his fourth company, Kurzweil Educational Systems, which quickly occupied a leading position in the field of text-to-speech technology. The company obtained important benefits, much of which was transferred to the Kurzweil private foundation, which promotes technologies to help blind students.

During the 1990s, Ray Kurzweil founded the Medical Learning Company . The company’s products included an interactive computer education program for doctors and a computer simulated patient. Around that time, Kurzweil started KurzweilCyberArt.com, a website that develops programs to assist creative artistic processes. The site offers the free download of a program called AARON (a visual art synthesizer developed by Harlod Cohen) and “Kurzweil’s Cybernetic Poet =, which automatically creates poetry.” During this period, KurzweilAI.net, a website focused on presentation of news of scientific developments, publicity of high-tech ideas, thinkers and critics of that style and promotion of discussions related to futurism among the general population, through the Mind-X forum.

In 1999, Kurzweil created a free investment fund called “FatKat” (Financial Accelerating Transactions from Kurzweil Adaptive Technologies, which in Spanish would be “Accelerating Financial Transactions of Kurzweil Adaptive Technologies”), which was launched in 2006. Kurzweil had established that his ultimate goal was to improve the performance of the investment software of FatKat AI and improve their ability to recognize patterns in “currency fluctuations and trends in property titles.” Kurzweil predicts in his 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, that computers will one day prove to be superior to best minds in the financial world for making decisions about profitable investments.

In 2001, the Canadian rock band Our Lady Peace released an album entitled Spiritual Machines, based on Kurzweil’s book. Kurzweil’s voice appears on the album, reading excerpts from his book.

In June 2005, Ray Kurzweil introduced the K-NFB Reader, a pocket-sized device consisting of a digital camera and a processing unit. Like the Kurzweil Reading Machine, 30 years ago, the K-NFB Reader is designed to help blind people read aloud written texts. This new machine is portable and collects the text through digital images of the integrated camera, while the old device was large and needed a scan of the text.

Ray Kurzweil is currently making a film that will be released in 2010 called “The Singularity is Near: A True Story About the Future” (The singularity is near: a true story based on the future) based , in part, in his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near. The movie has fiction parts and non-fiction parts. Kurzweil has interviewed twenty great thinkers like Marvin Minsky and there is a narrative line that accompanies and illustrates some of the ideas, where a computer avatar (Ramona) saves the world from self-replicating microscopic robots.

In addition to the Kurzweil film, a feature length documentary about Ray, his life and ideas, called Trascendent Man (“The Transcendent Man”) has been made. Filmmakers Barry and Felicia Ptolemy followed Kurzweil, documenting his narrated global route. Released in 2009. “The transcendent man” documents Ray’s quest to reveal to humanity his ultimate destiny and explores many of the ideas found in his bestseller “The singularity is near”, including his concept of exponential growth, radical expansion of life and how we will transcend our biology. The Ptolemys have documented that one of Ray’s goals would be to bring his father back to life using Artificial Intelligence. The film also documents criticisms that stand against Kurzweil’s predictions.

Kurzweil said during an interview in 2006 that he was working on a new book focusing on the inner workings of the brain and how this could be applied to the construction of AI.

While interviewed in February 2009 for Rolling Stone magazine, Kurzweil told his interviewer, David Kushner, that he wanted to build a genetic copy of his late father, Frederic Kurzweil, from the DNA found in his grave. This goal could be achieved by deploying several nanorobots that would send DNA samples from the tomb and build a Frederic clone that could recover memories from Ray’s mind.

Kurzweil has received many awards and recognitions, the main one of them, in 2002, is his promotion to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, created by the United States patent office.

In December 2012, he was hired by google as director of engineering, focusing his work on machine learning and natural language processing.

ray kurzweil Net Worth – $30 Million

More Facts about Ray Kurzweil

The Ray Kurzweil’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.

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