Ray Kurzweil

RaymondRayKurzweil ( / k ɜːr z w aɪ l / kurz -wyl ; born February 12, 1948) is an American author, computer scientist, inventor and Futurist . Aside from futurism, have been involved in areas zoals optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis , speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), Transhumanism , the technologische singularity , and futurism . Kurzweil is a public advocate for the Futurist and transhumanist movements, and public Gives talks to share his optimistic outlook on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first charge-coupled device flatbed scanner , [2] the first omni-font optical character recognition , [2] the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, [3] the first commercial text -to-speech synthesizer, [4] the Kurzweil K250 music synthesizer Capable of simulating the sound of grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first for customer Commercially large-vocabulary speech recognition. [5]

Kurzweil RECEIVED the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation , the United States’ Highest Honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. He was the recipient of the $ 500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for 2001 [6] the world’s Toilets for innovation. And in 2002 he was inducted into tje National Inventors Hall of Fame , Agent at the US Patent Office. He has RECEIVED twenty honorary doctorates, and receptacles from three US presidents. Kurzweil has leg DESCRIBED as a “restless genius” [7] at The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” [8] at Forbes . PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America” [9] Along with other Inventors of the adjusted two eeuw. Inc. magazine ranked im # 8 among the “musts Fascinating” entrepreneurs in the United States and called him “Edison’s Rightful heir”. [10]

Kurzweil has written seven books, five or welke port leg national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has leg translated JSON 9 languages and was the # 1 best-selling book on Amazon in science. Kurzweil’s book The Singularity Is Near was a New York Times bestseller, and has leg the # 1 book on Amazon in zowel science and philosophy. Kurzweil speaks widely to audiences zowel public and private and regularly biedt keynote speeches at industry conferences like DEMO , SXSW and TED . He maintains the news website KurzweilAI.net In this housing has over three million readers annually. [5]

Life, Inventions, and business career

Early life

Ray Kurzweil Grew up in the New York City borough of Queens . He was born to Secular Jewish parents who had emigrated from Austria just before the onset of World War II. He was Exposed via Unitarian Universalism to a diversity of religious Faiths prolongation his upbringing. [ Citation needed ] His Unitarian Church had the philosophy of many paths to the truth – the religious education consisted of spending six months on a single religion voordat moving forbidden the next. [ Citation needed ] His Father was a musician, a noted conductor, and a music educator. His mother was a visual artist .

Kurzweil decided he wanted to be an inventor at the age of five. [11] As a young boy, Kurzweil had an inventory of parts from verschillende construction toys have’d leg bepaald and old electronic gadgets have’d Collected from Neighbors. In his youth, Kurzweil was an avid reader of science fiction literature. At the age of eight, nine, and at, have read the entire Tom Swift Jr. . series. At the age of seven or eight, he built a robotic puppet theater and robotic game. He was involved with computers at the age of twelve (1960) als only a carton computers existed in all of New York City, and built computing devices and statistical programs for the predecessor or Head Start. [12] At the age of fourteen, Kurzweil wrote a paper Detailing his theory of the neocortex . [13] His parents were involved with the arts, and have been quoted in the documentary transcendental man as saying dat de household always produktie discussions about the future and technology.

Kurzweil attended Martin Van Buren High School . During class, have of or in hero forbidden his class text books to seemingly participate, but Limit download, dealing with his own projects welke ulcers hidden behind the book. His uncle, an engineer at Bell Labs , taught young Kurzweil the basics of computer science . [14] In 1963, at age fifteen, he wrote his first computer program. [15] He created a pattern-recognition software program therein Analyzed the works of classical composers, and-then synthesized zijn eigen songs in similar styles. In 1965, he was Invited ACM Press on the CBS television program I’ve Got a Secret , where he Performed a piano piece that was Composed by a computer have ook had built. [16] Later dat year, he won first prize in the International Science Fair for the invention It; [17] Kurzweil’s submission to Westinghouse Talent Search or his first computer program alongside verschillende other projects resulted in him being one or zijn national winners, welke allowed im to be Personally congratulated by President Lyndon B. Johnson prolongation a White House ceremony. These activities collectively impressed upon Kurzweil the belief therein nearly the problem ANY Could be Overcome. [18]


While in high school, Kurzweil had corresponded with Marvin Minsky and was Invited to visit im at MIT, welke he did. Kurzweil ook visited Frank Rosenblatt at Cornell. [19]

He obtained a BS in computer science and literature in 1970 at MIT . He went to MIT to study with Marvin Minsky . He took all of the computer programming courses (eight or nine) offered at MIT in the first year and a half.

In 1968, prolongation his sophomore year at MIT , Kurzweil started a company dat-used a computer program to match high school students with colleges. The program, called the Select College Consulting Program, was designed by im and Compared duizendtallen or différent criteria about lycra college with questionnaire answers Submitted by lycra student applicant. Around this time, he sold the company to Harcourt, Brace & World for $ 100,000 (roughly $ 670,000 in 2013 dollars) plus royalties. [20]

In 1974, Kurzweil founded Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc. and led development of the first omni-font optical character recognition system, a computer program Capable of recognizing text written any ‘normal font. Before dat time, scanners had only leg loveable to read text written in a few fonts. He decided dat the best application of this technology mention anything be to create a reading machine, welke mention anything allow directive blind people to under stand written text by keeping a computer read it to Them longstanding. However, this device required the invention It or two enabling technologies-the CCD flatbed scanner and the text-to-speech synthesizer. Development of synthesis technology was COMPLETED at other institutions zoals Bell Labs, and on January 13, 1976, the finished product was Unveiled prolongation a news conference headed by im and the leaders of the National Federation of the Blind . Called the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the device Covered an entire tabletop.

Kurzweil’s next major business venture Began in 1978-when Kurzweil Computer Products Began selling a commercial version of the optical character recognition computer program. LexisNexis was one of the first customers, and Bought the program to upload paper legal and news documents admissible zijn nascent online databases.

Kurzweil sold his Kurzweil Computer Products to L & H . Following the legal and bankruptcy problems of the Latter, the system became a subsidiary of Xerox later known as ScanSoft and now as Nuance Communications , and have functioned as a consultant for the former Until 1995.

Kurzweil’s next business venture in the realm of electronic music technology. After a 1982 meeting with Stevie Wonder in welke the Latter lamented the divide in capabilities and qualities tussen electronic synthesizers and traditional musical instruments, Kurzweil was inspired to create a new generation of music synthesizers Capable or clearer duplicating the sounds of real instruments. Kurzweil Music Systems was founded in the year together, and in 1984, the Kurzweil K250 was Unveiled. The machine was Capable or imitating a number of instruments, and in tests musicians were unable to discern the difference tussen de Kurzweil K250 on piano mode from a normal grand piano. [21] The recording and mixing abilities of the machine, coupled with zijn abilities to imitate différent instruments, made it skies for a single user to compose and play an entire orchestral piece.

Kurzweil Music Systems was sold to South Korean musical instrument manufacturer Young Chang in 1990. As with Xerox , Kurzweil remained as a consultant for verschillende years. Hyundai acquired Young Chang in 2006 and in January 2007 appointed Raymond Kurzweil as Chief Strategy Officer of Kurzweil Music Systems. [22]

Later life

Concurrent with Kurzweil Music Systems, Kurzweil created the company Kurzweil Applied Intelligence (KAI) to developement computer speech recognition systems for commercial use. The first product, welke debuted in 1987, was an early speech recognition program.

Kurzweil started Kurzweil Educational Systems in 1996 to developement new pattern-recognition-based computer technologies to help people with disabilities zoals blindness, dyslexia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in school. Products include the Kurzweil 1000 text-to-speech converter software program, welke kunnen a computer to read electronic and scanned text time-honored to blind or Visually impaired users, and the Kurzweil 3000 program, welke is a multifaceted electronic learning system dat helps with reading, writing, and study skills .

Raymond Kurzweil at the Singularity Summit at Stanford University in 2006

During the 1990s, Kurzweil founded the Medical Learning Company. [23] The company’s products included an interactive computer education program for doctors and a computer-simulated patient. Around the assembly time, Kurzweil started KurzweilCyberArt.com-a website featuring computer programs to assist the creative art process. The site-used to offer free downloads of a program called AARON-a visual art synthesizer developed by Harold Cohen and or “Kurzweil’s Cybernetic Poet”, welke automatisch creates poetry. During this period he’ll be started KurzweilAI.net, a website devoted towards showcasing news of scientific developments, publicizing the ideas of high-tech thinkers and critics alike, and promoting Futurist-related discussion onder the general population through the Mind-X forum.

In 1999, Kurzweil created a hedge fund called “FatKat” (Financial Accelerating Transactions from Kurzweil Adaptive Technologies), welke Began trading in 2006. He has stated therein the ultimate aim is to verbeteren the performance of FatKat’s AI investment software program, the enhancing zijn ability to herkennen patterns in “currency fluctuations and stock-ownership trends.” [24] He predicted in his 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines , dat computers will one day prove superior to the best human financial minds at making profitable investment Decisions. In June 2005, Kurzweil introduced the “Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader” (K-NFB Reader) -a pocket-sized device consisting of a digital camera and computer unit. Like the Kurzweil Reading Machine or almost 30 years voordat, the K-NFB Reader is designed to aid blind people by reading written text longstanding. The newer machine is portable and scans text through digital camera images, while the older machine is large and scans text through flatbed scanning.

In December 2012, Kurzweil was hired by Google in a full-time position to “work on new projects Involving machine learning and language processing”. [25] He was Personally hired by Google co-founder Larry Page . [26] Larry Page and Kurzweil Agreed on a one-sentence job description “to bring natural language understanding to Google.” [27]

He RECEIVED a Technical Grammy on February 8, 2015, recognizing his various technical and creative accomplishments. For Purposes of the Grammy, perhaps musts notable was the aforementioned Kurzweil K250. [28]

Postmortem life

Kurzweil has joined the Alcor Life Extension Foundation , a cryonics company. In the event of his death DECLARED, Kurzweil plans to be perfused with cryoprotectants , vitrified in liquid nitrogen , and stored at an Alcor facility in the dumps therein future medical technology will be able to repair his tissues and revive im. [29]

Personal life

Kurzweil is Agnostic about the existence of a soul . [30] On the Possibility of divine intelligence, Kurzweil is quoted as saying, “Does God exist? I mention anything say, ‘Not yet.'” [31]

Kurzweil married Sonya Rose Wald Fenster in 1975 and has two children. [32] Sonya Kurzweil is a Psychologist in private practice and clinical instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School; she is interested in the way therein digital media kan be integrated into tje lives or children and teens. [33]

He has a sun, Ethan Kurzweil, who is a venture capitalist, [34] and a daughter, Amy Kurzweil, [35] who is a writer and cartoonist.

Ray Kurzweil is a cousin of writer Allen Kurzweil .

Creative approach

Kurzweil said “I Realize therein must Inventions fail not Because The R & D department can not save get them to work, but Because the timing is wrong-not all of the enabling factors are at play where they ‘are needed. Inventing is a lot like surfing: u have to Anticipate and catch the wave at just the right time. ” [36] [37]

For the fit verschillende decades, Kurzweil’s most effective and common approach to doing creative work has bone conducted prolongation his lucid dream like states welke redacteuren precedes his awakening states. He claims to harbor constructed Inventions, solved s difficult problems, zoals algorithmic, business strategy, organizational, and interpersonal problems, and written speeches in this state. [19]


Kurzweil’s first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines , was published in 1990. The work Nonfiction discusses the history of computer artificial intelligence (AI) and forecasts future developments. Other experts in the field of AI Contribute Heavily to the work in the form of essays. The Association of American Publishers ‘ Awarded it the status of Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990. [38]

In 1993, Kurzweil published a book on nutrition called The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life . The book’s main idea is dat high levels of fat intake are the cause of many health disorders common in the US, and THUS dat cutting fat consumption down to 10% of the total calories consumed mention anything be optimal for must people.

In 1999, Kurzweil published The Age of Spiritual Machines , welke remit elucidates his theories Regarding the future of technology, welke themselves voice from his analysis of long-term trends in biological and technologische evolution. Much emphasis is on the course or LIKELY AI development, Along With The future of computer architectures.

Kurzweil’s next book, published in 2004, returned to human health and nutrition. Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever was co-authored with Terry Grossman , a medical doctor and specialist in alternative medicine.

The Singularity Is Near , published in 2006, was made JSON a movie starring Pauley Perrette from NCIS . In February 2007, Ptolemaic Productions acquired the rights to The Singularity is Near , The Age of Spiritual Machines and Fantastic Voyage waaronder the rights to film Kurzweil’s life and ideas for the documentary film transcendental man , welke was directed by Barry Ptolemy.

Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever , [39] a follow-up to Fantastic Voyage , was released on April 28, 2009.

Kurzweil’s book, How to Create a Mind : The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, was released on Nov. 13, 2012. [40] In it Kurzweil describes his Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, the theory therein the neocortex is a hierarchical system or pattern recognizers, and argues dat emulating this architecture in machines Could lead to an artificial superintelligence. [41]


Kurzweil wrote and co-produktie a movie directed by Anthony Waller, called The Singularity Is Near: A True Story About the Future , 2010 based, in part, on his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near . Part fiction, part non-fiction, he interviews 20 big thinkers like Marvin Minsky , plus there is a B-line narrative story dat illustrations some of the ideas, where a computer avatar (Ramona) saves the world from self-replicating microscopic robots. In addition under to his movie, an independent, feature-length documentary was made about Kurzweil, his life, and his ideas, called transcendental man . Filmmakers Barry Ptolemy and Felicia Ptolemy Followed Kurzweil, documenting his global speaking tour. Premiered in 2009 at the Tribeca Film Festival , transcendental Man documents Kurzweil’s quest to Reveal Mankind’s ultimate destiny and Explores many of the ideas found in his New York Times Bestselling book, The Singularity Is Near , zoals his concept exponential growth, radical life expansion, and how we will Transcendental our biology. The Ptolemys Documented Kurzweil’s stated goal of Bringing back his late Father using AI. The film features ook critics who argue Against Kurzweil’s predictions.

In 2010, an independent documentary film called Plug & Pray premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in welke Kurzweil and one or his major critics, the late Joseph Weizenbaum , argue about the benefits of eternal life.

The feature-length documentary film The Singularity by independent filmmaker Doug Wolens (released at the end of 2012), showcasing Kurzweil, has leg acclaimed as “a large-scale achievement, ITT documentation or Futurist and counter-Futurist ideas” and “the best documentary on the Singularity to date. ” [42]

Kurzweil Frequently comments on the application of cell-sized nanotechnology to the werking of the human brain and how this Could be toegepast to building AI. While being interviewed for a February 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Kurzweil Expressed a desire to construct a genetic copy of his late Father, Fredric Kurzweil, from DNA binnen his grave site. This feat mention anything be Achieved with exhumation and extraction of DNA, constructing a clone or Fredric and Retrieving memories and Recollections-from Ray’s mind or his Father. Kurzweil Kept all of his Father’s records, notes, and pictures in order to Maintain as much or his Father as he Could. Ray is Berninahaus for taking over 200 pills a day, Meant to reprogram his biochemistry. This, volgens to Ray, is only a precursor to the devices at the nano scale therein will replace Eventually a blood cell, self-updating and specific pathogens to verbeteren the immune system.


The Law of Accelerating Returns

Main article: Accelerating change

In his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines , Kurzweil Proposed “Law of Accelerating Returns” volgens to welke the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including the growth of technology) tends to increase is exponentially. [43] He illustration remit focus to this issue in a 2001 essay entitled “The Law of Accelerating Returns” In this housing Proposed an extension of Moore’s law to a wide variety of technologies, and-used this to argue in favor of Vernor Vinge ‘s concept or a technologische singularity . [44] Kurzweil suggests dat this exponential technologische growth is counter-INTUITIVE to the way our brains perceive the world-since our brains ulcers Biologically Inherited from humans living in a world that was linear and local-and, as a Consequence, he claims it has encouraged great skepticism in his future projections.

Stance on the future of genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics

Kurzweil is working with the Army Science Board to dévelop a rapid response system to deal with the skies abuse or biotechnology. He suggests dat de composition technologies therein are empowering us to reprogram biology away from cancer and heart disease Could be-used in a bioterrorist to reprogram a biological virus to be more deadly, communicable, and stealthy. However, he suggests dat we harbor the scientific tools to successfully défend Against synthesis attacks, similar to the way we défend Against computer software viruses. He has testified voordat Congress on the subject of nanotechnology , Advocating therein nanotechnology has the potential to solvency serious global problems zoals poverty, disease, and climate change. “Nanotech Could Give Global Warming a Big Chill.” [45]

In media appearances, Kurzweil has stressed the extreme potential Dangers of nanotechnology [16] but argues dat in practice, progress can not save be stopped Because dat mention anything requirement a totalitarian system, and ANY attempt to do underground so mention anything drive dangerous technologies and deprive verantwoordelijk scientists or the tools needed for defense. He suggests dat de proper place or regulation is to dat dat technologische progress Proceeds Safely and roused, but does not deprive the world of profound benefits. He stated, “To Avoid Dangers zoals unrestrained nanobot replication, we need relinquishment at the right level and to place our Highest priority on the continuing advance or defensive technologies, staying ahead of destructive technologies. An overall strategy arnt include a streamlined regulatory process, a global program of monitoring for unknown or evolving biological pathogens, temporary moratoriums, raising public awareness, international cooperation, software reconnaissance, and fostering values of liberty, tolerance, and respect for knowledge and diversity. ” [46]

Health and aging

Kurzweil admits dat he cared little for his health Until age 35, als have been found to suffer from a glucose intolerance , an early form of type II diabetes (a major risk factor for heart disease ). Kurzweil-then found a doctor ( Terry Grossman , MD) who shares his some what unconventional beliefs to developement an extreme regimen Involving Hundreds of pills, chemical intravenous Treatments, red wine , and verschillende other methods to attempt to live longer. Kurzweil was ingesting “250 supplements, eight to 10 glasses of alkaline water and 10 cups of green tea ” everytime day and drinking verschillende glasses of red wine a week in an effort to “reprogram” his biochemistry. [47] Lately, he has cut down the number of supplement pills to 150. [30]

Kurzweil has made a number of bold claims for his health regimen. In his book The Singularity Is Near, have claimed therein have brought` his cholesterol level down from the high 200s to 130, raised his HDL (high-density lipoprotein) from Projects 30 to 55, and lowered his homocysteine ​​from an unhealthy 11 to a much safer 6.2. He’ll be claimed therein his C-reactive protein “and all of my other indexes (for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions) are at ideal levels.” He claimed remit dat his health regimen, zoals dramatically Reducing his fat intake, successfully “reversed” his type 2 diabetes. (The Singularity Is Near, p. 211)

He has written three books on the subjects of nutrition, health, and immortality: The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life , Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever . In all, he recommends dat other people emulation his health practices to the best of abilities hun. Kurzweil and his current “anti-aging” doctor, Terry Grossman , now have two websites promoting hun first and second book.

Kurzweil asserts dat in the future, everyone will live forever. [48] In a 2013 interview, he zegt dat in 15 years, medical technology Could add morethan a year to one’s life expectancy REMAINING for lycra year dat passes, and we Could Then “Outrun our own deaths.” Among other things, he has supported the SENS Research Foundation ‘s approach to finding a way to repair aging damage, and has encouraged the general public to hasten hun research by Donating. [27] [49]

Nassim Nicholas Taleb , Lebanese American essayist, scholar and statistician, criticized Kurzweil’s approach or taking multiple pills to beste longevity in his book Antifragile . [ Citation needed ]

Kurzweil’s view of the human neocortex

Volgens to Kurzweil, technologists will be customizing synthetic neocortexes based on the operating principles of the human neocortex with the primary purpose or Extending our own neocortexes. He claims to believe dat the neocortex or an adult human consists of ongeveer 300 million pattern recognizers. He draws on the commonly accepted belief therein the primary Anatomical difference tussen humans and other primates therein allowed for superior intellectual abilities was the evolution of a larger neocortex. He claims therein the six-layered neocortex deals with toenemende abstraction from one layer to the next. He says dat at the low levels, the neocortex nov seem cold and mechanical Because it kan only make simple Decisions, but at the hogere levels of the hierarchy, the neocortex is LIKELY to be dealing with concepts like being funny, being sexy, Expressing a loving sentiment, customizing a poem or understanding a poem, etc. He claims to believe dat deze hogere levels of the human neocortex ulcers the enabling factors to permit the human development of language, technology, art, and science. He stated, “If the quantitative improvement from primates to humans with the big Forehead was the enabling factor to allow directive for language, technology, art, and science, what child or kwalitatief leap can we do with Another quantitative increase is? Why not go from 300 million pattern recognizers to a billion? ”

Encouraging futurism and Transhumanism

Kurzweil’s standing as a Futurist and transhumanist has led to his Involvement in verschillende singularity-themed organizations. In December 2004, Kurzweil joined the advisory board of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute . [50] In October 2005, Kurzweil joined the scientific advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation . [51] On May 13, 2006, Kurzweil was the first speaker at the Singularity Summit at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California . [52] In May 2013, Kurzweil was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Proceedings of the Research, Innovation, Start-up and Employment (RISE) international conference in Seoul , Korea Republic .

In February 2009, Kurzweil, in collaboration with Google and the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California , announced the creation of the Singularity University training center for corporate executives and government officials. The University’s self-DESCRIBED mission is to “assembling, Educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who Strive = understatement to state and Facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide synthesis tools to address humanity’s grand challenges”. Using Vernor Vinge’s Singularity concept as a foundation, the university offered zijn first nine-week graduate program to 40 students in June 2009.


Main article: Predictions made by Ray Kurzweil

Past predictions

Kurzweil’s first book, The Age of Intelligent Machines , Presented his ideas about the future. It was written from 1986 to 1989 and published in 1990. Building on Ith’i · el the Sola Pool ‘s “Technologies of Freedom” (1983), Kurzweil claims to harbor forecast the Dissolution of the Soviet Union due to new technologies zoals cellular phones and fax machines disempowering authoritarian Governments in Removing state control over the flow of information. [53] In the book, Kurzweil’ll be extrapolated preexisting trends in the improvement of computer chess software performance to predictors dat computers mention anything beat the best human players “by the year 2000”. [54] In May 1997, chess World Champion Garry Kasparov was Defeated at IBM’s Deep Blue computer in a well-publicized chess match. [55]

Perhaps must significantly, Kurzweil foresaw the explosive growth in worldwide Internet use therein Began in the 1990s. At the time of the publication of The Age of Intelligent Machines , there ulcers only 2.6 million Internet users in the world, [56] and the medium was unreliable, s difficult to use, and deficient in content. He’ll be stated therein the Internet mention anything exploding not only in the number of users but in content as well, Eventually Granting users access “to international networks of libraries, databases, and information services.” Additionally, Kurzweil claims to harbor Correctly foreseen therein the favoriete fashion or Internet access mention anything inevitably be through wireless systems, and have been’ll be correct to estimate extent dat de Latter mention anything Become as practical for widespread use in the early 21st century.

In October 2010, Kurzweil released his report, “How My Predictions Are Faring” PDF format, [57] welke analyzers have the predictions made in his book The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) and The Singularity is Near (2005). Of the 147 total predictions, Kurzweil claims dat 115 ulcers ‘entirely correct’, 12 ulcers “Essentially correct”, and 17 more recent “partially correct”, and only 3 ulcers “wrong”. Adding together the ‘entirely’ and ‘essentially’ correct, Kurzweil’s claimed accuracy rate comes to 86%.

Daniel Lyons , writing in Newsweek magazine, criticized Kurzweil for some of his predictions dat turned out to be wrong, zoals the economy Continuing to boom from the 1998 dot-com through 2009 a US company maintaining a market capitalization of morethan $ 1 trillion , a supercomputer Achieving 20 petaflops , speech recognition being in widespread use and cars dat mention anything about drive themselves using sensors installed in highways; all in 2009. [58] To the charge therein a 20 petaflop supercomputer was not produktie in the time he predicted, Kurzweil Responded dat he considers Google a giant supercomputer, and therein it is indeed Capable or 20 petaflops. [58]

Kurzweil’s predictions for 2009 ulcers mostly inaccurate, claims Forbes magazine. For example, Kurzweil predicted, “The Majority of text is created using continuous speech recognition.” This is not the case. [59]

Future predictions

In 1999, Kurzweil published a second book Titled The Age of Spiritual Machines , welke goes JSON more depth explanatory his Futurist ideas. The third and final part of the book is devoted to predictions over the coming century, from 2009 through 2099. In The Singularity Is Near have makes fewer specific short-term predictions, but of includes many longer-term visions.

He states therein with radical life extension will come radical life enhancement. He says he is confident dat binnen 10 years we will port the option to spend some of our time in 3D virtual environments dat appear just as real as real reality, but synthesis will not yet be made skies through direct interaction with our nervous system. “If you look at video games and how we went from Pong to the virtual reality we harbor available today, it is highly LIKELY therein immortality in essence will be skies.” He convinced dat 20 to 25 years from now, we will harbor millions of blood-cell sized devices, known as nanobots , inside our bodies fighting Against diseases, Improving our memory, and cognitive abilities. Kurzweil says dat a machine will pass the Turing test by 2029, and dat around 2045, “the pace of change will be so astonishingly quick dat we will not be bootable to keep up, unless we verbeteren our own intelligence by merging with the intelligent machines, we are customizing “. Kurzweil states dat humans will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological intelligence therein Becomes getting more dominated by zijn non-biological component. He stresses that ‘All is not an intelligent invasion from Mars. These are brain extenders dat we harbor created to expand our own mental reach. Way Down are part of our civilization. Way Down are part of who we are. So over the next few decades our human-machine civilization will Become getting more dominated by zijn non-biological component. In transcendental Man Kurzweil states “we humans are going to start linking with eachother and Become a metaconnection we will all be connected and all be omnipresent, plugged JSON this global network therein is connected to billions of people, and filled with data. ” [60] Kurzweil states in a press conference dat we are the only species dat goes beyond our limitations-” we did not stay in the caves, we did not stay on the planet, and we’re not going to stay with the limitations of our biology. “In his singularity based documentary he was quoted saying” I think people are fooling themselves-when they ‘say they’ port accepted death. ”

In 2008, Kurzweil zegt in an expert panel in the National Academy of Engineering therein solar power will scale up to produce all the energy needs of Earth’s people in 20 years. Volgens to Kurzweil, we only need to capture one part in 10,000 of the energy from the Sun dat hits Earth’s surface to meet all of humanity’s energy needs. [61]



Kurzweil was referred to as “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes [8] and as a “restless genius” [7] at The Wall Street Journal . PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America” [9] Along with other Inventors of the adjusted two eeuw. Inc. magazine ranked im # 8 among the “musts Fascinating” entrepreneurs in the United States and called him “Edison’s Rightful heir”. [10]

Kurzweil has RECEIVED many awards and receptacles, zoals :

  • First place in the 1965 International Science Fair [17] for Inventing the classical music synthesizing computer.
  • The 1978 Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery . The award is to be found annually to one “outstanding young computer professional” and is accompanied by a $ 35,000 prize. [62]Kurzweil won it for his invention It of the Kurzweil Reading Machine. [63]
  • In 1986, Kurzweil was named Honorary President for Innovation of the White House Conference on Small Business at President Reagan.
  • In 1988, Kurzweil was named Inventor of the Year at MIT and the Boston Museum of Science. [64]
  • In 1990, Kurzweil was voted Engineer of the Year by the over one million readers of Design News Magazine and RECEIVED hun third annual Technology Achievement Award. [64] [65]
  • The 1994 Dickson Prize in Science. One is Awarded everytime year at Carnegie Mellon University to personen who have “notably advanced the field of science.” Both a medal and a $ 50,000 prize are Presented to winners. [66]
  • The 1998 “Inventor of the Year” award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . [67]
  • The 1999 National Medal of Technology . [68] This is the Highest award the President of the United States kan bestow upon personen and groups for pioneering new technologies, and the President dispenses the award at his discretion. [69] Bill Clinton Presented Kurzweil with the National Medal of Technology prolongation a White House ceremony in recognition of Kurzweil’s development or computer-based technology to help the disabled.
  • The 2000 Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology. [70] Two other personen ook RECEIVED the composition honor dat year. The award was Presented yearly to people who “exemplify the life, times and standard or contribution to this club of Tesla, Westinghouse and Nunn.”
  • The 2001 Lemelson-MIT Prize for a lifetime or ontwikkelingslanden technologies to help the disabled and to enrich the arts. [71] Only one is Awarded lycra year – it is to be found to highly successful mid-career Inventors. A $ 500,000 award accompanies the prize. [72]
  • Kurzweil was inducted into tje National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002 for Inventing the Kurzweil Reading Machine. [73] The organization “receptacles the women and men verantwoordelijk for the great advances technologische dat make human, social and economic progress skies.” [74] Fifteen other people in later inducted into tje Hall of Fame the association year. [75]
  • The Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award on April 20, 2009 for lifetime achievement as an inventor and Futurist in computer-based technologies. [76]
  • In 2011, Kurzweil was named a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council . [77]
  • In 2013, Kurzweil was honored as a Silicon Valley Visionary Award winner on June 26 at SVForum. [78]
  • In 2014, Kurzweil was honored with the American Visionary Art Museum’s Grand Visionary Award on January 30. [79] [80] [81]
  • Kurzweil has RECEIVED 20 honorary doctorates in science, engineering, music and human letters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Hofstra University and other leading colleges and universities, as well as receptacles from three US presidents – Clinton, Reagan and Johnson. [5] [82]
  • Kurzweil has RECEIVED seven national and international film awards waaronder the CINE Golden Eagle Award and the Gold Medal for Science Education from the International Film and TV Festival of New York. [64]


Kurzweil’s ideas port generated criticism binnen the scientific community and in the media.

Hoewel de the idea of a technologische singularity is a popular concept in science fiction, some authors zoals Neal Stephenson [83] and Bruce Sterling port voiced skepticism about zijn real-world plausibility. Sterling Expressed his views on the singularity scenario in a talk at the Long Now Foundation entitled The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole . [84] [85] Other prominent thinkers AI and computer scientists zoals Daniel Dennett , [86] Rodney Brooks , [87] David Gelernter [88] and Paul Allen [89] ook criticized Kurzweil’s projections.

In the cover article of the December 2010 issue of IEEE Spectrum , John Rennie criticizes Kurzweil for verschillende predictions therein failed to Become manifest by the oorspronkelijk predicted date. “Therein lie the frustrations of Kurzweil’s fire or tech punditry. On close Examination, his clearest and must successful predictions of or in Lack originality or profundity. And musts or his predictions come with so many loopholes dat ze border on the unfalsifiable.” [90]

Bill Joy , cofounder of Sun Microsystems , agrees with Kurzweil’s timeline or future progress, but thinks dat technology industry leaders as AI, nanotechnology and advanced biotechnology will create a dystopian world. [91] Mitch Kapor , the founder of Lotus Development Corporation , has called the notion of a technologische singularity ” intelligent design for the IQ 140 people … This proposition dat we’re heading to this point at welke everything is going to be just unimaginably différent-it’s Fundamentally, in my view, driven by a religious impulses. And all of the Frantic arm-waving can not save obscure dat fact for me. ” [24]

Some critics argued port tomorrow Strongly Against Kurzweil and his ideas. Cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter has zegt or Kurzweil’s and Hans Moravec ‘s books: “It’s an intimate Mixture of rubbish and good ideas, and it’s very hard to disentangle the two, Because synthesis are smart people, they’re not stupid.” [92] Biologist PZ Myers has criticized Kurzweil’s predictions as being based on ” New Age spiritualism” Rather dan science and says dat Kurzweil does not understand basic biology . [93] [94] VR pioneer Jaron Lanier has also DESCRIBED Kurzweil’s ideas as “cybernetic Totalism” and has Outlined his views on the culture Surrounding Kurzweil’s predictions in an essay for Edge.org entitled One Half of a Manifesto . [42] [95]

British philosopher John Gray argues dat contemporary science is what magic was for ancient civilizations. It gives a sense of hope For those who are willing to do almost anything in order to beste eternal life. He quotes Kurzweil’s Singularity as Another example of a trend welke has almost always bone present in the history of Mankind. [96]

The Brain Makers , a history of artificial intelligence written in 1994 by HP Newquist , noted that ‘Born with the co gift for self-promotion that was a character trait or people like PT Barnum and Ed Feigenbaum, Kurzweil had no problems talking up his technical prowess… Ray Kurzweil was not noted for his understatement. ” [97]

In a 2015 paper, William D. Nordhaus of Yale University, takes an economic look at the impacts of an impending technologische singularity. He comments “There is remarkably little writing on Singularity in the modern macroeconomic literature.” [98] Nordhaus supposes dat de Singularity Could ARISE from either the demand or supply side or a market economy, but for information technology to Proceed at the child or pace Kurzweil suggests, there mention anything about port to be significant productivity trade-offs. Namely, in order to devote more resources to Producing super computers we must decrease our production or non-information technology goods. Using a variety of Econometric methods, Nordhaus runs six supply side tests and one demand side test to track the macroeconomic Viability or zoals steep Rises Information technology output. Of the seven tests only two indicated therein a Singularity was economically skies and zowel or Those two predicted, at minimum, 100 years voordat it mention anything allowable.


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  49. Jump up^ “Ray Kurzweil At SENS 3 | Video” . Exponential Times. 2011-08-25 . Retrieved 2013-07-28 .
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  83. Jump up^ Miller, Robin (2004-10-20). “Neal Stephenson Responds With White and Humor” . Slashdot . Retrieved 2008-08-28 . My thoughts are more in line with Those of Jaron Lanier, who points out therein while hardware Might Be getting faster all the time, software is shit (I am paraphrasing his argument). And without software to do something useful with all dat hardware, the hardware’s nothing morethan a really complicated space heater.
  84. Jump up^ Brand, Stewart (2004-06-14). “Bruce Sterling -” The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole ” ” . The Long Now Foundation . Retrieved 2009-06-08 .
  85. Jump up^ Sterling, Bruce . “The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole” (MP3) . It’s an end-of-history notion, and Like Most end-of-history notions, it is showing zijn age. http://wayback.archive.org/web/20150213182923/http://media.longnow.org/seminars/salt-0200406-sterling/salt-0200406-sterling.mp3
  86. Jump up^ Dennett, Daniel . “The Reality Club: One Half Of A Manifesto” . Edge.org . I’m smooth therein Lanier entertains the hunch dat Dawkins and I (and Hofstadter and others) see some flaw in logic therein insulates [our] thinking from the eschatalogical implications “drawn by Kurzweil and Moravec. He’s right. I for one, do sea zoals a flaw, and I Expect Dawkins and Hofstadter mention anything say the arrangement.
  87. Jump up^ Brooks, Rodney . “The Reality Club: One Half Of A Manifesto” . Edge.org . Retrieved 2016-01-05 . I do not at all agree with Moravec and Kurzweil’s predictions for an eschatological Cataclysm, just in time for hun eigen memories and thoughts and person Hood to be preserved voordat They Might otherwise the.
  88. Jump up^ Transcript of debate about feasibility or near-term AI (moderated by Rodney Brooks): “Gelernter, Kurzweil debate machine consciousness” . KurzweilAI.net . Retrieved 2016-01-05 .
  89. Jump up^ Allen, Paul . “The Singularity Is not Near” . MIT Technology Review . Kurzweil’s reasoning rests on the Law of Accelerating Returns and its siblings, but synthesis are not physical laws. Way Down are assertions about how fit rates of scientific and technical progress kan predictors the future rate. Charmain Horn Please note, like other attempts to forecast the future from the past, these “laws” will work Until they ‘do not.
  90. Jump up^ Rennie, John (December 2010). “Ray Kurzweil’s Slippery Futurism” . IEEE Spectrum . Retrieved 2012-08-13 .
  91. Jump up^ Joy, Bill (April 2000). “Why the future does not need us” . Wired . Retrieved 2008-09-21 . … it was only in the autumn of 1998 dat I became Anxiously aware of how great are the Dangers facing us in the 21st century. I can date the onset of my unease to the day I Ray Kurzweil …
  92. Jump up^ Ross, Greg. “An interview with Douglas R. Hofstadter” . American Scientist . Retrieved 2008-08-28 .
  93. Jump up^ Lyons, Daniel (May 2009). “I, Robot” . Newsweek . Retrieved 2009-07-24 . Still, a lot of people think Kurzweil is completely Bonkers and / or full or a certainement messy byproduct of ordinary biological functions. Ze include PZ Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who has-used his blog to poke fun at Kurzweil and other armchair FUTURISTS who, volgens to Myers, Rely on junk science and do not understand basic biology. “I am completely baffled by Kurzweil’s popularity, and mn the respect he gets in some circles, since his claims simply do not hold up to even casually critical Examination,” writes Myers. He says Kurzweil’s Singularity theories are closer to a deluded religious movement dan ze are to science. “It’s a New Age spiritualism-that’s all it is,” Myers says. “Even geeks as to find God somewhere, and Kurzweil zorgt it for them.” viathe Internet Archive
  94. Jump up^ Myers, PZ. “Singularitarianism?” . Pharyngula blog . Retrieved 14 February 2011 . http://wayback.archive.org/web/20150606002300/http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/singularitarianism.php
  95. Jump up^ Lanier, Jaron. “One half of a Manifesto” . Edge.org . Retrieved 2008-08-28 .
  96. Jump up^ Gray, John (2011). The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death . Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN  978-0374175061 .
  97. Jump up^ Newquist, HP (1994). The Brain Makers . New York, NY: Macmillan / SAMS Press. p. 269. ISBN  0-672-30412-0 .
  98. Jump up^ Nordhaus, William D. “Are We Approaching an Economic Singularity? Information Technology and the Future of Economic Growth”, Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2021, Yale University, September 2015