[Paleopsych] Ray Kurzweil: Follow Your Passion
shovland at mindspring.com
Mon May 23 21:59:50 UTC 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. -- March 23, 2005 -- Ray Kurzweil, world-renowned
inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist, will be the commencement
speaker at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's (WPI) 137th graduation
ceremony on Saturday, May 21. Kurzweil will discuss his ideas on the future
interplay between mankind and artificial intelligence with WPI's graduates
and community in his speech, "When Humans Transcend Biology." After
Kurzweil's talk, the university will confer upon him an honorary degree.
Widely regarded as one of the preeminent inventors and innovators of our
time, Kurzweil foresees an era when the human body will be enhanced by
software and computers, enabling humans to download intelligence and to
live long past the current life expectancy.
Kurzweil has laid out his vision in this area through his writing. He has
authored five books and hundreds of articles. His first book, The Age of
Intelligent Machines, was named Best Computer Science Book of 1990. His
best-selling book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, When Computers Exceed
Human Intelligence, has been published in nine languages and achieved the
#1 best selling book on Amazon.com in the categories of "science" and
"artificial intelligence." Kurzweil's most recent work, coauthored with
Terry Grossman, M.D., is Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live
Forever. His next book, The Singularity is Near, When Humans Transcend
Biology, is due to be published in September 2005.
Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Tech. Inc."
"As our graduates begin the next chapter of their lives, Ray Kurzweil is an
excellent role model -- providing a firsthand example of an innovative
career that has used science, technology and engineering to benefit the
world," says Dennis D. Berkey, president of WPI.
Kurzweil launched his thriving career in high school when he appeared on
the television show "I've Got a Secret," hosted by Steve Allen. His secret
was that he programmed his computer to analyze abstract patterns in musical
compositions and then composed original melodies in a similar style. With
this project, Kurzweil won first prize in the International Science Fair,
and he was named one of the 40 Westinghouse Science Talent Search winners
who were able to meet President Lyndon Johnson in a White House ceremony.
Kurzweil subsequently rose to even greater success with the invention of
several devices, including the first omni-font optical character
recognition (OCR), 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 grand piano and other
orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed
large-vocabulary speech recognition. He has founded and developed nine
businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology,
virtual reality, financial investment, cybernetic art, and other areas of
As a result of his accomplishments, Kurzweil was named in 2002 to the
National Inventors Hall of Fame, which was established by the U.S. Patent
Office. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the
$500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation's largest award in invention and
innovation, and the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest
honor in technology, from President Bill Clinton in a White House ceremony.
Kurzweil grew up in Queens, N.Y. He received his B.S. in computer science
and literature from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
More information about the paleopsych