Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, 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 is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world’s largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office.
He has received nineteen honorary doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. Ray has authored six books, four of which have been national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times bestseller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
Ray Kurzweil gives over fifty presentations around the world each year. In 2009 he spoke in eight countries to influential groups including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Fortune Magazine, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin, Credit Suisse, TED, and Edwards Lifesciences.
Kurzweil’s far reaching and optimistic views on the future of technology and its implications for society resonate with a wide range of audiences including top U.S. security officials, senior healthcare policy makers, private investors, scientists, business executives, and academic communities. His research and remarks focus on the exponential growth of technology (in his terms “The Law of Accelerating Returns”) and its path towards ubiquitous computing, reverse engineering the brain, full immersion virtual reality, nanotechnology, the merging of human and machine, and ultimately extreme human life extension. He describes a bright future in which technology will provide solutions to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. Kurzweil often shapes his presentations towards the following topics:
- Health and Medicine
- Business & Investing
- Disabilities & Assistive Technologies
Kurzweil’s presentations are rich with content. His PowerPoint is a key tool in helping audiences visualize exponential trends and future scenarios with multiple up-to-date charts, graphs, animated images, and imbedded movies. He often engages in extended Q&A and on-stage dialogues following his lectures.
Kurzweil frequently gives live and interactive virtual lectures via Teleportec Teleporter or standard videoconferencing. He is the only speaker in the world to have a Teleportec system installed in his office that enables him to appear as if he were at an event, on stage, in person and in three dimension behind a wooden lectern. It is quite a dramatic illusion and creates a feeling of personal presence far beyond standard videoconferencing. Kurzweil Technologies has an in-house studio with professional lighting, a broadcast quality camera specifically optimized for videoconferencing demands, and a top-of-the-line Tanberg codec that connects over ISDN lines or the Internet. After six years of successful collaboration with Teleportec, Kurzweil has a comprehensive system to produce a high-quality and reliable virtual appearance. As an alternative, standard videoconferencing is a cost effective way of having Kurzweil give live remarks followed by interactive Q&A.
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