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Ray Kurzweil: A Career Summary

Ray Kurzweil is the principal developer of the world's:

  • First Print-to-Speech Reading Machine for the Blind (the "Kurzweil Reading Machine") in 1976. In 1998 Ray's latest reading machine, the Kurzweil 1000, won the first $150,000 SAP / Stevie Wonder Vision Award for Product of the Year.
  • First Omni-Font (i.e., "any" font) Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in 1976. Today, the latest generation of the original Kurzweil OCR is called Xerox TextBridge, one of the market leaders.
  • First CCD (Charge Coupled Device) Flat Bed Scanner in 1975. Today CCD flat bed scanners are a multi billion dollar industry.
  • First Text-to-Speech Synthesizer in 1975. Text-to-speech technology is also a large industry today.
  • First Music Synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments in 1984. Today, Kurzweil Music synthesizers continue as a market and technology leader, marketed in 45 countries.
  • First Commercially Marketed Large Vocabulary Speech Recognition in 1987. Today, Kurzweil speech recognition (products include Kurzweil Clinical Reporter for physicians and Lernout & Hauspie Voice Xpress for the retail market) continue as market leaders.

Ray Kurzweil
author of
The Age of Spiritual Machines
Ray has successfully founded, built and sold four high-tech companies, all using artificial intelligence and pattern recognition technologies.

Ray has written three books:
  • The Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT Press, 1990), which was named "Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990" by the Association of American Publishers. Successful predictions made by Ray in this book include the emergence of the World Wide Web, the taking of the world chess championship by a computer by 1998, the dominance of intelligent weapons in warfare, and continued economic expansion.
  • The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life, How to Eliminate Virtually All Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer (Crown, 1993).
  • The Age of Spiritual Machines, When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (Viking, 1999). Ray's latest best selling book extends his blueprint to what George Gilder calls the "metamorphic moment" when computers exceed the full range of human intelligence, which Ray sees as only a few decades away.
Ray Kurzweil has received scores of 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 by MIT, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. He has received nine honorary Doctorates and honors from two U.S. presidents. He has received seven national and international film awards.