Why you should listen
Inventor, entrepreneur, visionary, Ray Kurzweil's accomplishments read as a startling series of firsts -- a litany of technological breakthroughs we've come to take for granted. Kurzweil invented the first optical character recognition (OCR) software for transforming the written word into data, the first print-to-speech software for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, and the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Yet his impact as a futurist and philosopher is no less significant. In his best-selling books, which include How to Create a Mind, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Kurzweil depicts in detail a portrait of the human condition over the next few decades, as accelerating technologies forever blur the line between human and machine.
In 2009, he unveiled Singularity University, an institution that aims to "assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies." He is a Director of Engineering at Google, where he heads up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language comprehension.
What others say
“Kurzweil's eclectic career and propensity for combining science with practical -- often humanitarian -- applications have inspired comparisons with Thomas Edison.” — Time
Ray Kurzweil’s TED talks
More news and ideas from Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil returns to the TED stage to explain his new (kind of old) theory of the mind. He first wrote his theory as a paper 50 years ago, but today there’s a plethora of new evidence to support it. First, a refresher on the story of the neocortex, which means “new rind.” Two hundred […]Continue reading
What does a hacked future look like? What will our bodies — and minds — be capable as bioengineering becomes more and more ubiquitous? In Session 8 of TED2014, speakers take on the hacked world of tomorrow. Here are the speakers who appeared in this session. Click below to read a full recap of each […]Continue reading