Raymond Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font, optical character-recognition software, 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 sounds of a grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech-recognition technology.
Mr. Kurzweil has founded and developed nine successful businesses in optical character recognition, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, cybernetic art, and areas of artificial intelligence.
He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002, was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2001, and received the National Medal of Technology in 1999. He has also received scores of other national and international awards, including the Dickson Prize and the Grace Murray Hopper Award. He has been awarded 12 honorary doctorates and has received honors from three U.S. presidents.
Mr. Kurzweil’s books include The Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT Press, 1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (Viking Penguin, 1999), Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (Rodale Press, 2004), with Terry Grossman, and his latest, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Viking Penguin, 2005).