Ray Kurzweil

Ray KurzweilRay Kurzweil, one of the leading inventors and entrepreneurs of our time, 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.

Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, 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.

Ray has successfully founded and developed nine businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, medical simulation, and cybernetic art.  All of these technologies continue today as market leaders.  Ray’s Web site, KurzweilAI.net, is a leading resource on artificial intelligence.

Ray Kurzweil was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office, in 2002, and received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation’s largest award in invention and innovation.  He also received the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony.

He has also received scores of other national and international awards, including the 1994 Dickson Prize (Carnegie Mellon University’s top science prize), Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from MIT, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.  He has received eleven honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.  He has received seven national and international film awards.

His book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, was named Best Computer Science Book of 1990. His current best-selling book, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence has been published in nine languages and achieved the #1 best selling book on Amazon in the categories of “Science” and “Artificial Intelligence.”

Health and Longevity

Since the release of his book, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (2004) and with the upcoming release of a new health book, TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (2009), Mr. Kurzweil addresses many medical and health related audiences on the merger of science, technology, and medicine and its impact on the healthcare industry and human longevity. He explains that as medicine becomes an information technology it will be subject to the laws of accelerating returns, meaning that it will be a thousand times more powerful than today in ten years, and a million times more powerful in 20 years.

Education

Mr. Kurzweil presents to many academic groups including educators, administrators, executive boards, and higher education IT specialists about the intersection of information technology (a broad perspective), education and human knowledge. He describes a future in which there is widespread and inexpensive access to education around the world, individualized learning through computer assisted instruction, full-immersion virtual reality classrooms and labs, and ultimately the ability to download knowledge and skills directly to our brains. He remarks on the key role of education in supporting the unique attribute of our species which is an exponential expanding knowledge base that we pass down from generation to generation. He notes that as jobs are destroyed at the bottom of the skill ladder and more satisfying and better paying jobs are added at the top, investment in
education has increased to keep pace with the rising skill ladder. Specifically, in 1870 there were 60,000 college students and today there are over 6 million. Expenditures in K-12 education in constant dollars and on a per capita basis have multiplied by ten over the past century. Our economy is increasingly dominated by knowledge intensive jobs hence the increasingly central role of education and educational technology.

Innovation/Invention

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. Mr. Kurzweil has a presentation that describes a program for innovation, how to foster it in an organization, and how to bring inventions to market. He explains how the law of accelerating returns and the exponential growth of information technology are accelerating opportunities for innovation. In this talk, he draws upon his own history of innovation which led to his induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, founded by the U.S. Patent Office in 2002.


Business/Investing

Mr. Kurzweil frequently presents to private equity firms and businesses on technology and the capital markets, business and technology trends, near and long-term predictions, and strategy in an age of exponential technological growth. Despite the current economic turmoil, Mr. Kurzweil presents an optimistic argument that the exponential growth of information technology will continue unaffected during the economic downturn as it has in every past recession and during the Great Depression, noting that information technology goes beyond just computerized devices, but includes such disparate areas as health and medicine, and energy. In every past recession and the Great Depression, he notes that economic growth snapped back to where it would have been had the downturn never occurred. He presents an incredible wealth of data showing that information technologies have the scale and the ability to overcome the major problems we face such as energy and the environment, health, and even poverty.

Disabilities and Assistive Technologies

Mr. Kurzweil explains that accelerating information technology will lead us to completely overcome handicaps associated with sensory and physical disabilities and describes the extent to which we have already done that for many handicaps. He predicts that in about a quarter century we will have millions of nanobots in our brains putting our brains on the Internet and providing high bandwidth communication directly with the brain, so vision will ultimately become obsolete. He can speak on a range of topics relating to blindness, disabilities, and assistive technologies in the 21st century. With his many assistive technology firsts, among them: the first pocket-sized print-to-speech reading machine for the blind (2006), the first Continuous Speech Natural Language Command and Control Software (1997), the first Speech Recognition Dictation System for Windows (1994), the first commercially marketed Large-Vocabulary Speech Recognition, the first Omni-Font (any type font) Optical Character Recognition (1976), and the first Print-to-Speech Reading Machine for the Blind (1976), Mr. Kurzweil speaks from experience about the future of disabilities in an age of accelerating technology.

Speech Titles
On the Future:
Accelerating to the Singularity
Science, Technology, and Invention: Strategies to Create the Future
Early in the Twenty-First Century, Intelligence will Underlie Everything of Value
The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Business, the Economy, and Society
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Media, Communications, and Society
The Next 20 Years of Gaming
Transformation and the Pace of Change
The Accelerating Impact of Exponentially Expanding Complex Systems
The Coming Merger of Biological and Non Biological Intelligence
An Exponentially Expanding Future from Exponentially Shrinking Technology
The Web Within Us: When Minds and Machines Become One

On Health/Longevity:
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Healthcare and Medicine
The Democratization of Health and Medicine in an Era of Accelerating Technologies
Human Body Version 2.0: When Humans Transcend Biology
Reprogramming Biology: The New Paradigm
A Bridge to a Bridge to a Bridge…to Extreme Life Extension
How to Live Long Enough to Live Forever
The Coming Merger of Human and Machine: the Radical Expansion of Human Longevity and Intelligence
Reverse Engineering the Human Body and Brain — The Impact on Human Health and Society
Biotechnology and Nanotechnology: Two Overlapping Health Revolutions
The Impact of 21st Century Technology on Human Health and Society
Extending our Vision and our Life Expectancy through Accelerating Technologies
The Exponential Growth of Information Technology: The Impact on Health Care, the Economy, and Policy in the Early 21st Century

On Innovation & Entrepreneurship:
The Democratization of Innovation and Design in an Era of Accelerating Technologies
How to Manage Innovation in an Era of Accelerating Technologies
Identifying an Opportunity in Technology
Innovation in an Era of Accelerating Technologies
The Power of an Idea
The Democratization of Creativity
On the Social Impact of Technology:
Towards Singularity – it’s Nature, Promise, and Dangers
How Far will Technology Transform Humanity?
Promise and Peril – The Deeply Intertwined Poles of 21st Century Technology
Computers and Consciousness
Virtual Reality and the Nature of Identity
Are We Spiritual Machines?

On the Economic Impact of Technology:
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Business, the Economy, and Society
21st Century Technology and the Capital Markets
Exponentially Growing Ventures from Exponentially Shrinking Technology
An Integrated World Economy in an Age of Accelerating Information Technology

On Education:
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Education, Training, and Performance
The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Higher Education and Society

On Engineering and the Environment:
From Unlimited Clean Energy to Overcoming Disease: How Engineering Can Do It
10,000 Times More Sunlight Than We Need

On Music:
Accelerating Technology: The Impact on Music and Human Life

On Disabilities and Assistive Technologies:
Technology Empowers People with Disabilities: Today and Tomorrow
The End of Handicaps
Disabilities and Technology in the 21st Century
The Future of Blindness and Disabilities in an Age of Accelerating Technology
Technology, Neuroscience and the Future of Cognitive Disabilities
The Future of Special Education in an Era of Accelerating Technology

 

 
Speaker Directory
Topics/Fees/Keywords