Friday, November 1: Ray Kurzweil
Author of "The Age of Spiritual Machines"
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, developed, and sold four AI businesses in
OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, and reading technology. All
of these technologies continue today as market leaders.
Ray Kurzweil received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the world'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 ten 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 9 languages and achieved
the #1 best selling book on Amazon.com in the categories of "Science" and "Artificial Intelligence."