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Ray Kurzweil

Ray KurzweilAKA Raymond C. Kurzweil

Born: 12-Feb-1948
Birthplace: Queens, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor, Computer Programmer, Author

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Age of Spiritual Machines

Ray Kurzweil is an author, entrepreneur, and inventor whose contributions include the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first omni-font (i.e., "any" font) optical character recognition, the first CCD (charge coupled device) flat bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments (so good even professional musicians could not distinuish it from the real thing), and the first commercially marketed large vocabulary speech recognition technology.

When he was only 18 years old, Kurzweil appeared on the I've Got a Secret television program in 1965. Ray's famous secret? He had built his own computer, programming it to analyze the patterns in musical compositions by famous composers and then compose original new melodies in a similar style -- a project which won him first prize in the International Science Fair as well as the opportunity to meet President Lyndon B. Johnson as a Westinghouse Science Talent Search winner.

Kurzweil's next invention, and first foray as an entrepreneur, was a computer program that matched up high school kids with colleges. Greater ventures and inventions were to follow, eventually earning him such honors as the Lemelson-MIT Prize, induction into the National Inventor Hall of Fame, the 1999 National Medal of Technology (awarded by President Clinton), the 1994 Dickson Prize, and many other prestigious awards.

Father: (musician, conductor)
Mother: (visual artist)
Wife: Sonya R. Kurzweil

    University: BS Computer Science and Literature, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970)
    Administrator: MIT Corporation

    Association for Computing Machinery Fellow
    Foresight Nanotech Institute Board of Advisors
    National Academy of Engineering
    Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
    National Medal of Technology and Innovation 1999
    Dickson Prize 1994
    National Inventors Hall of Fame
    Lemelson-MIT Prize 2001
    Risk Factors: Diabetes

    Terms and Conditions May Apply (22-Jan-2013) · Himself
    The Singularity Is Near (26-Aug-2010) · Himself
    Transcendent Man (5-Nov-2009) · Himself
    How to Live Forever (Oct-2009) · Himself

Official Website:

Author of books:
The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990)
The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life: How to Eliminate Virtually All Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer (1993)
The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (1999)
Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (2004, with Terry Grossman, M.D.)
The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005)
Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (2009, with Terry Grossman, M.D.)

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