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Encyclopedia > Raymond Kurzweil
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Raymond Kurzweil

Raymond Kurzweil at Stanford University in 2006
Born February 12, 1948
Queens, New York, United States
Occupation Author, Scientist, & Futurist
Spouse Sonya Kurzweil

Raymond Kurzweil (pronounced: [kɚz-waɪl]) (born February 12, 1948) is a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, technological singularity, and futurism. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOVD Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1864x1864, 2567 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Raymond Kurzweil Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to... Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles northwest of San José in Stanford, California. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Queens County, often referred to as simply Queens, is the largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. It is home to New York Citys two major airports (John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia), the New York Mets baseball team, the USTA National Tennis Center, Silvercup... NY redirects here. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... February 12 is the 43rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Optical character recognition, usually abbreviated to OCR, is a type of computer software designed to translate images of handwritten or typewritten text (usually captured by a scanner) into machine-editable text, or to translate pictures of characters into a standard encoding scheme representing them (e. ... Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. ... Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ... Piano, a well-known instance of keyboard instruments A keyboard instrument is any musical instrument played using a musical keyboard. ... Garry Kasparov playing against Deep Blue, the first machine to win a chess game against a reigning world champion. ... Natasha Vita-Mores Primo is an artistic depiction of a hypothetical posthuman of transhumanist speculation. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... Future studies reflects on how today’s changes (or the lack thereof) become tomorrow’s reality. ...

Contents

Life, inventions, and awards

Kurzweil grew up in Queens, New York. In his youth, he was an avid consumer of science fiction literature. By the age of twelve he had written his first computer program. Shortly after his discovery of programming, he appeared on the CBS television program I've Got a Secret, where he performed a piano piece that was composed by a computer he had built.[1] In 1968, at the age of twenty, he sold a company he created that matched high schoolers with prospective colleges by answering a 200 question survey. He earned a BS in Computer Science and Literature in 1970 from MIT. Queens County, often referred to as simply Queens, is the largest in area of the five boroughs of New York City, USA. It is home to New York Citys two major airports (John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia), the New York Mets baseball team, the USTA National Tennis Center, Silvercup... NY redirects here. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... CBS Broadcasting, Inc. ... Ive Got a Secret (abbreviated as IGAS) was a weekly panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS television and was created by Allan Sherman as essentially a knockoff of Whats My Line?. The original version of the show premiered in June 19, 1952... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...


Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition system, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first electronic musical instrument capable of recreating the sound of a grand piano and other orchestral instruments (which he developed at the urging of Stevie Wonder, who was amazed by his OCR reading machine), and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition system. He has founded nine businesses in the fields of OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, medical simulation, and cybernetic art. For the origin and evolution of fonts, see History of western typography. ... Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or psychological factors. ... A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ... In computing, a scanner is a device which analyzes a physical image (such as a photograph, printed text, or handwriting) or an object (such as ornament) and converts it to a digital image. ... A grand piano from Schiedmayer & Söhne, Stuttgart. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins on May 13, 1950, name later changed to Stevland Hardaway Morris),[1] is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ... Assistive technology (AT) makes life easier for people with disabilities. ... Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment, be it a real or imagined one. ... A simulated patient or standardized patient (SP), in health care, is an individual who is trained to act as a real patient in order to simulate a set of symptoms or problems. ... Cybernetics is a theory of the communication and control of regulatory feedback. ... The Bath, a painting by Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). ...


The inventor attributes his success in marketing technology products to being able to predict the arrival date of competitively priced components and match it to rollout of his designs, for example, the hand-held book reader built into a digital camera.[1]

Raymond Kurzweil

Kurzweil was inducted in 2002 into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the United States' largest award in invention and innovation, and the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (664x824, 35 KB) Photo by Michael Lutch. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (664x824, 35 KB) Photo by Michael Lutch. ... Exterior of the National Inventors Hall of Fame museum, 2005 The National Inventors Hall of Fame is an organization that honors important inventors from the whole world. ... PTO headquarters in Alexandria The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. ... The Lemelson-MIT Prize, endowed in 1994 by Jerome H. Lemelson, and administered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is awarded to inventors from the United States for outstanding achievement. ... Year 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar). ... The National Medal of Technology is an honor granted by the President of the United States to inventors and innovators that have made significant contributions to the development of new and important technology. ...


He has also received scores of other awards, including the 1994 Dickson Prize (Carnegie Mellon University's top science prize), Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from MIT in 1998, the Association of American Publishers' award for the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery and he received the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in 2000. He has received thirteen honorary doctorates, a 14th scheduled in 2007, and honors from three U.S. presidents. He 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 sixteen “revolutionaries who made America”, along with other inventors of the past two centuries.[2] Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... Design News (ISSN-0011-9407) is a US trade publication and web site owned by Reed Business Information serving the information needs of the field of design engineering. ... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private, coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. ... Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. ... Although many awards have added Grace Hoppers name to them since her death in 1992, the original Grace Murray Hopper Awards have been awarded by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) since 1971. ... The Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM, was founded in 1947 as the worlds first scientific and educational computing society. ... An Honorary degree (Latin: honoris causa ad gradum) is a degree awarded to someone by an institution that he or she may have never attended, it may be a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree - however, the latter is most common. ... For the pop band, see Presidents of the United States of America. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ...


Kurzweil's musical keyboards company Kurzweil Music Systems produces among the most sophisticated and realistic (and expensive) synthesized-sound creation instruments. Kurzweil Music Systems was sold to Korean piano manufacturer Young Chang in the early 1990s and its founder was no longer involved in the company. However, Hyundai purchased Young Chang in 2006 and appointed Ray Kurzweil as Chief Strategy Officer as of February 2007, to help them "build Kurzweil Music Systems into one of the largest music instruments brands in the world".[3] Kurzweil Music Systems is a company that produces electronic musical instruments for professionals and home users. ... Synthesizer as used in music, is a term derived from a Greek word syntithetai < synthesis (συντίθεται < σύνθεσις) and is used to describe a device capable of generating and/or manipulating electronic signals for use in music creation, recording and performance. ... Kurzweil Music Systems is a company that produces electronic musical instruments for professionals and home users. ... Young Chang (including Bergmann, Pramberger, and Kurzweil Music System) is a famous Korean piano maker. ... South Korean business tycoon Chung Ju-yung, founder and honorary chairman of Hyundai Group, 1998 Hyundai refers to a group of companies founded by Chung Ju-yung in South Korea, and related organizations. ...


Kurzweil has also created his own twenty-five year old female rock star alter ego, "Ramona", whom he regularly performs as through virtual reality technology to illustrate the as-yet untapped possibilities of computers to enhance and alter our interpersonal interactions. This project inspired the plot of the movie S1m0ne.[4] For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... Alter Ego has multiple meanings: Alter Ego is a game for the Commodore 64 computer. ... Virtual reality (VR) is a technology which allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment, be it a real or imagined one. ... S1m0ne (also spelled Simone) is a 2002 science fiction drama film written, produced and directed by New Zealander Andrew Niccol, starring Al Pacino. ...


In 2005, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates called Ray Kurzweil "the best at predicting the future of artificial intelligence".[5] Kurzweil has been associated with the National Federation of the Blind, many of whose members use his products. He began working with the NFB in the 1970s, and has been described as a great friend by the movement’s former President Kenneth Jernigan and current president, Marc Maurer. After speaking at their convention in 2005, he received a special award, an honor received by few sighted people. At their convention in 2007, he received another high honor, the Newell Perry Award. Since about 2004, Kurzweil has participated, along with the NFB and one of his own companies, Kurzweil Educational Systems in the development of the KNFB Reader, a reading machine for the blind which is smaller and more powerful than those previously available. For other persons named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation). ... The National Federation of the Bblind (NFB) is an organization representing blind people in the United States It is probably the largest organization for blind people in the United States and is notable for its willingness to take controversial positions on many issues. ... N. (Norman) Kenneth Jernigan was born blind in Detroit, Michigan on November 13, 1926. ... The logo of Kurzweil Educational Systems Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


In 1999, Kurzweil created a hedge fund called "FatKat" (Financial Accelerating Transactions from Kurzweil Adaptive Technologies), which began trading in 2006. Kurzweil has openly stated that the ultimate aim is to improve the performance of FatKat's A.I. investment software program, enhancing its ability to recognize patterns in "currency fluctuations and stock-ownership trends." [6] He also stated in his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines that he believes computers will one day prove superior to the best human financial minds at making profitable investment decisions. Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ...


Stand on nanotechnology

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Kurzweil is on the Army Science Advisory Board, has testified before Congress on the subject of nanotechnology, and sees considerable potential in the science to solve significant global problems such as climate change, viz. Nanotech Could Give Global Warming a Big Chill (July, 2006).[7][8] Image File history File links Wikinews-logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Buckminsterfullerene C60, also known as the buckyball, is the simplest of the carbon structures known as fullerenes. ...


In addition he advocates using nanobots to maintain the human body and to extend human lifespan beyond current palliative drug-based and nutritional attempts. A nanobot is a nanotechnological robot nanomachine, also called a nanite, which is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometres (millionths of a millimetre, or units of 10-9 metrer). ... Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of the symptoms of a disease or slows its progress rather than providing a cure. ...


The Law of Accelerating Returns

Main article: Accelerating change

In his controversial 2001 essay, "The Law of Accelerating Returns", Kurzweil proposes an extension of Moore's law that forms the basis of many people's beliefs regarding a "Technological Singularity".[9] When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... Gordon Moores original graph from 1965 Growth of transistor counts for Intel processors (dots) and Moores Law (upper line=18 months; lower line=24 months) For the observation regarding information retrieval, see Mooers Law. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ...


Transhumanism

Kurzweil is also an enthusiastic advocate of using technology to achieve immortality. He advocates using nanobots to maintain the human body, but given their present non-existence he adheres instead to a strict daily routine involving ingesting "250 supplements, eight to 10 glasses of alkaline water and 10 cups of green tea" to extend his life until more effective technology is available.[10] This article is about living for infinite period of time. ... A nanobot is a nanotechnological robot nanomachine, also called a nanite, which is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometres (millionths of a millimetre, or units of 10-9 metrer). ... Life extension refers to an increase in maximum or average lifespan, especially in humans, by slowing down or reversing the processes of aging. ...


In December 2004, Kurzweil joined the advisory board of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit organization with the goal of developing a theory of Friendly artificial intelligence and implementing that theory as a software system. ...


In October 2005, Kurzweil joined the scientific advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation. The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit organization, devoted to researching the possibilities of existential risk from powerful modern technologies, such as those based on genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics, and proposing policy options to avert or minimise the risks. ...


On May 13, 2006, Kurzweil was the first speaker at the Stanford University Singularity Summit. is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Futurism, as a philosophical or academic study, looks at the medium to long-term future in an attempt to predict based on current trends. Raymond Kurzweil states his belief that the future of humanity is being determined by an exponential expansion of knowledge, and that the very rate of the change of this exponential growth is driving our collective destiny irrespective of our narrow sightedness, clinging archaisms, or fear of change. Our biological evolution, according to Kurzweil, is on the verge of being superseded by our technological evolution. An evolution conjoined of cogent biological manipulation with a possible emerging self-aware, self-organizing machine intelligence. The rate of the change of the exponential explosion of knowledge and technology not only envelops us, but also irreversibly transforms us. Future studies reflects on how today’s changes (or the lack thereof) become tomorrow’s reality. ...


Accordingly, in Kurzweil's predictions, we are currently (as of the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century) exiting the era in which our human biology is closed to us, and are entering into the posthuman era, in which our extensive knowledge of biochemistry, neurology and cybernetics will allow us to rebuild our bodies and our minds from the ground up. Kurzweil believes that Strong A.I., advanced nanotechnology and cybernetics are enabling technologies that will initiate the Posthuman Era through a disruptive, worldwide event known as the Singularity. By extrapolating past and current trends of technological growth into the future, Kurzweil has concluded that the aforementioned technologies will be available in 2045, and that the Singularity will thus occur in the same year. Posthuman Future by Michael Gibbs A posthuman or post-human is a hypothetical future being whose capabilities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer human by current standards. ... In the philosophy of artificial intelligence, Strong AI vs. ... Buckminsterfullerene C60, also known as the buckyball, is the simplest of the carbon structures known as fullerenes. ... Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ...


Kurzweil is generally considered to be amongst the most personally optimistic of futurists, both because he views the Singularity as almost inevitable and because he believes that the outcome will likely be beneficial for the human race. However, the ultimate future he envisions often leaves some of his less technophilic colleagues cringing at the overtones of a future which has often been portrayed in science fiction as dystopian: one in which humans are fused with or dominated by machines and technology so thoroughly that human meaning and the "human spirit" are lost completely.[citation needed] When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... Technophilia is, in its simplest definition, a strong enthusiasm for technology, especially newer technologies such as computers, the Internet, cell phones and home theater. ... A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. ...


Accuracy of predictions

The Age of Intelligent Machines

Arguably, Kurzweil gained a large amount of credibility as a futurist from his first book The Age of Intelligent Machines. Written from 1986-89 and published in 1990, it correctly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union (1991) as new technologies such as cellular phones and fax machines critically disempowered authoritarian governments by removing state control over the flow of information. In the book Kurzweil also extrapolated preexisting trends in the improvement of computer chess software performance to correctly predict that computers would beat the best human players by 1998, and most likely in that year. In fact, the event occurred in May of 1997 when chess World Champion Gary Kasparov was defeated by IBM’s Deep Blue computer in a well-publicized chess tournament. Perhaps most significantly, Kurzweil foresaw the explosive growth in worldwide Internet usage that began in the 1990's. At the time of the publication of The Age of Intelligent Machines, there were only 2.6 million Internet users in the world [11], and the medium was unreliable, difficult to use, and deficient in content, making Kurzweil's realization of its future potential especially prescient given the technology's limitations at that time. He also stated that the Internet would explode not only in the number of users but in content as well, eventually granting users access "to international networks of libraries, data bases, and information services." Additionally, Kurzweil correctly foresaw that the preferred mode of Internet access would inevitably be through wireless systems, and he was also correct to estimate that the latter would become practical for widespread use in the early 21st century. The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an Artificial Intelligence documentary (1987) and book (1990, ISBN 0262111217 / ISBN 0262610795) by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers. ... This is a history of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. ... Garry Kimovich Kasparov (&#1043;&#1072;&#1088;&#1088;&#1080; &#1050;&#1080;&#1084;&#1086;&#1074;&#1080;&#1095; &#1050;&#1072;&#1089;&#1087;&#1072;&#1088;&#1086;&#1074;) (born April 13, 1963) is a chess grandmaster and the strongest chess player in the world. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an Artificial Intelligence documentary (1987) and book (1990, ISBN 0262111217 / ISBN 0262610795) by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers. ...


Kurzweil also accurately predicted that many documents would exist solely on computers and on the Internet by the end of the 1990's, and that they would commonly be embedded with animations, sounds and videos that would prohibit their transferrence to paper format. Moreover, he foresaw that cellular phones would grow in popularity while shrinking in size for the foreseeable future.


Kurzweil's views regarding the future of military technology were likewise supported by the course of real-world events following the publication of The Age of Intelligent Machines. His pronouncement that the world's foremost militaries would continually rely on more intelligent, computerized weapons was illustrated spectacularly just a year later during the 1991 Gulf War, which served as a showcase for new weapons technologies. The trend towards greater computerization of weapons systems is further demonstrated by the increased use of precision munitions since the publication of Kurzweil's book. For example, 10% of all U.S. Naval ordinance expended during the Gulf War were guided weapons. During the 1999 Kosovo campaign, that quantity climbed to 70%, and it reached 90% during the 2001-2002 Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.[12] As he also predicted, remotely controlled military aircraft were developed, beginning with the Predator reconnaissance plane in the mid-90's, and an armed version of the aircraft was first used in combat in November of 2002.[13] The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an Artificial Intelligence documentary (1987) and book (1990, ISBN 0262111217 / ISBN 0262610795) by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers. ... Combatants United States Saudi Arabia Egypt United Kingdom & US-led Coalition Republic of Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf Khalid bin Sultan Saddam Hussein Strength 883,863 360,000 Casualties 240 killed in action, 776 wounded, 30 taken prisoner At least 183,000 victims of the Gulf War syndrome Est. ... Combatants United States Saudi Arabia Egypt United Kingdom & US-led Coalition Republic of Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf Khalid bin Sultan Saddam Hussein Strength 883,863 360,000 Casualties 240 killed in action, 776 wounded, 30 taken prisoner At least 183,000 victims of the Gulf War syndrome Est. ... The term Kosovo War or Kosovo Conflict is often used to describe two sequential and at times parallel armed conflicts (a civil war followed by an international war) in the southern Serbian province called Kosovo (officially Kosovo and Metohia), part of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. ... Combatants United States Canada Australia United Kingdom Netherlands Philippines (in the Philippines theatre only) Northern Alliance GUAM Poland Italy Visegrad Group Hungary Ethiopia Somalia Estonia Latvia Lithuania Slovakia Vilnius group Croatia Albania Macedonia Romania Bulgaria Taliban al-Qaeda Abu Sayyaf Jemaah Islamiyah Islamic Courts Union Commanders General Tommy Franks Brig. ... At Paris Air Show 2007 The MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which the U.S. Air Force describes as a MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) UAV system. ...


Kurzweil also described the future of computer-controlled, driverless cars, claiming that the technology to build them would become available during the first decade of the 21st century, yet that due to political opposition and the general public's mistrust of the technology, the computerized cars would not become widely used until several decades hence. In fact, considerable progress has been made with the technology since 1990, and General Motors is scheduled to unveil a new electronic car system called "Traffic Assist" in its 2008 Opel Vectra model. "Traffic Assist" uses video cameras, lasers and a central computer to gather and process information from the road and to make course and speed changes as needed, and is supposedly capable of driving itself without any input from the user in speeds below 60 mph, making it a true driverless car [14] "Traffic Assist" will not be exclusive to the 2008 Opel Vectra for long as GM has announced plans to offer the system for several other types of cars before the end of the decade. [15] Due to stricter U.S. product liability laws, the system will not be available in America for the forseeable future and will only be offered in Europe. [16] General Motors Corporation, also known as GM, is the worlds largest auto company by annual production volume as of 2006, and the second largest by sales volume as of the first half of 2007, behind Toyota Motor Corporation. ... The Opel Vectra is a large family car produced by Opel, the main European subsidiary of General Motors. ... The Opel Vectra is a large family car produced by Opel, the main European subsidiary of General Motors. ... General Motors Corporation, also known as GM, is the worlds largest auto company by annual production volume as of 2006, and the second largest by sales volume as of the first half of 2007, behind Toyota Motor Corporation. ...


Kurzweil predicted that pocket-sized machines capable of scanning text from almost any source (a piece of paper, a road sign, a computer screen) and then reading the text out loud in a computerized voice would be available "In the early twenty-first century" and would be used to assist blind people. In June of 2005, Ray Kurzweil himself unveiled the "Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader" (K-NFB Reader), which is a reading machine possessing the aforementioned attributes. [17] However, he also claimed back in 1990 that the readers would be able to recognize and describe symbols, pictures and graphics in addition to words, read multiple languages, possess wireless Internet access, and be in use with "most" blind and dyslexic people, and perhaps among some normal people as well. While the K-NFB Reader does not have these final attributes, it is entirely possible that the device may be upgraded to the necessary level before the nebulously defined "early twenty-first century" expires. This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


The Age of Spiritual Machines

In 1999, Kurzweil published a second book entitled The Age of Spiritual Machines, which goes into more depth explaining his futurist ideas. The third and final section of the book is devoted to elucidating the specific course of technological advancements Kurzweil believes the world will experience over the next century. Entitled "To Face the Future," the section is divided into four chapters respectively named "2009", "2019", "2029", and "2099"--each chapter title signifying a different year. For every chapter, Kurzweil issues predictions about what life and technology will be like in that year. Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ...


While the veracity of Kurzweil's predictions for 2019 and beyond cannot yet be determined, 2009 is near enough to the present to allow many of the ideas of the "2009" chapter to be scrutinized. To begin, Kurzweil's claims that 2009 would be a year of continued transition as purely electronic computer memories continued to replace older rotating memories seems to be vindicated by the current growth in the popularity and cost-performance of Flash memory. He also correctly foresaw the growing ubiquity of wireless Internet access and cordless computer peripherals. Perhaps of even greater importance, Kurzweil presaged the explosive growth in peer-to-peer filesharing and the emergence of the Internet as a major medium for commerce and for accessing media such as movies, television programs, newspaper and magazine text, and music. He also claimed that three-dimensional computer chips would be in common use by 2009 (though older, "2-D" chips would still predominate), and this appears likely as IBM has recently developed the necessary chip-stacking technology and announced plans to begin using three-dimensional chips in its supercomputers and for wireless communication applications.[18] A flash drive, related to a solid state drive, is a storage device that uses flash memory rather than conventional spinning platters to store data. ... The inside of a hard disk drive displaying the actuator arm traveling over the top platter. ... A flash drive, related to a solid state drive, is a storage device that uses flash memory rather than conventional spinning platters to store data. ...


Moreover, Kurzweil's prediction that portable computers will shrink in size and take on nontraditional physical forms (i.e. - very different in design from a laptop or desktop computer) by 2009 is supported by the emergence of devices such as the iPod, BlackBerry, iPhone, and other advanced cell phones, as well as by newer PDA's. All meet Kurzweil's aforementioned criteria, being small to the point of wearability, possessing the power and range of function of older computers, and featuring designs that radically depart from normal computers. Kurzweil's forecast that these devices would lack rotating memories was also right. However, his claim that such portable computers will be commonly embedded in clothing and jewelry by 2009 seems unlikely to pass, as does his prediction that people will typically be wearing "at least a dozen" such computers in the same year. Most "portable computers" as they are defined here also have built-in keyboards or accessable keyboard functions (such as a digital keyboard that can be manipulated through a touchscreen), putting reality again at odds with Kurzweil's belief that most computers would lack this feature by 2009, with users instead relying on continuous speech recognition (CSR) to communicate with their PC's. iPod (fifth generation) in Apple Universal Dock, iPod nano (second generation) and iPod shuffle (second generation) iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple and launched in 2001. ... The BlackBerry is a wireless handheld device introduced in 1999 which supports push e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, internet faxing, web browsing and other wireless information services. ... The correct title of this article is . ... User with PDA Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years. ... Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ...


Similarly, Kurzweil's claim that, by 2009, "the majority of text" will be created through continuous speech recognition (CSR) programs instead of through keyboards and manual typing seems highly unlikely. On that vein, he also implied in The Age of Spiritual Machines that CSR software should in fact have already replaced human transcriptionists years before 2009 (i.e. - 2007 or earlier) due in part to its projected superiority in understanding speech compared to human listeners. CSR is not yet this advanced, and the total replacement of human transcriptionists did not happen, nor is it on the verge of happening. Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ... Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ... Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ... Speech recognition (in many contexts also known as automatic speech recognition, computer speech recognition or erroneously as Voice Recognition) is the process of converting a speech signal to a sequence of words, by means of an algorithm implemented as a computer program. ...


Not only that, he also optimistically stated that houses would have around hundred comptuers within, yet houses are not yet "Intelligent". However, this linked into his prediction of domestic robots being around but not mainstream (see Domestic robots). A domestic robot is a robot used for household chores. ...


Since the publication of The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil has even tacitly admitted that some of his 2009 predictions will not happen on schedule. For instance, in the book he forecast that specialized eyeglasses that beamed computer-generated images onto the retinas of their users to produce an HUD-effect would be in wide use by 2009, and that in the same year telephone companies would commonly provide computerized voice translating services, allowing people speaking different languages to understand one another through a phone. Yet in a 2006 C-SPAN2 interview, he stated that these two technologies would not be available until sometime in the 2010's. Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ... A virtual retinal display (VRD), also known as a retinal scan display (RSD), is a new display technology that draws a raster display (like a television) directly onto the retina of the eye. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil also spent time discussing future increases in computing use in education. He predicted that interactive software and electronic learning materials would be used by 2009. Indeed, smartboards, interactive whiteboards with a connection to the Internet and learning software and activities are commonly used in schools in developed nations.[19] Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ...

$100 laptop in Ebook-Mode.
$100 laptop in Ebook-Mode.

Kurzweil went further to say that students would commonly have portable learning computers in the form of a "thin tablet-like device weighing under a pound." While students increasingly use portable laptops in schools, they tend to be of traditional configuration and of greater weight. But supporting Kurzweil's prediction is the emergence of the One Laptop Per Child Project, which aims to provide low-cost laptop computers (often called the "$100 Laptop") to students in developing nations across the world. The computer can be quickly reconfigured from traditional laptop layout to a tablet-like "e-book reading" layout.[20] However, the current model of the $100 Laptop also weighs well over a pound.[21] The first batch of 5 million laptops[22] is expected to ship sometime in 2007.[23] By the end of 2009, there could be millions more in use across the world, vindicating Kurzweil's belief that portable computers will be playing a central role in education. Image File history File links LaptopOLPC_b. ... Image File history File links LaptopOLPC_b. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ...


However, it should be noted that text-to-speech converters remain uncommon, along with computerized distance learning, which were two other technologies Kurzweil imagined in widespread use by 2009.


Kurzweil also restates his earlier prediction from The Age of Intelligent Machines regarding the advent of pocket-sized, text-to-speech converters for the blind. As mentioned, this can be regarded as correct given the 2005 introduction of the "Kurzweil-National Federation of the Blind Reader" (K-NFB Reader), though a significant reduction in price would be required by 2009 to reasonably classify the device as "cheap"--one quality Kurzweil claimed they would possess. The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an Artificial Intelligence documentary (1987) and book (1990, ISBN 0262111217 / ISBN 0262610795) by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers. ... This article is considered orphaned, since there are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


Kurzweil's pronouncements regarding the state of Warfare in 2009 seem likely to meet mixed success. While the United States remains the world's dominant military power and will almost certainly remain so until 2009, Kurzweil's "prediction" of this reality is not so awe-inspiring given the massive military preponderance the U.S. has historically enjoyed coupled with the extreme unlikelihood of a sudden diminishment of American strength between 1999 and 2009 given the U.S.'s past emphasis on military readiness. Kurzweil instead predicted that most opposing countries in 2009 would focus on challenging the United States' economic as opposed to military strength, and this is already the case today. Kurzweil's claim that warfare in 2009 would be dominated by unmanned combat planes seems unlikely to pan out (though it should be noted that unmanned aircraft have nevertheless advanced considerably since 1999 and are more widely used than ever), as does his more general assessment that humans would be largely absent from the battlefield thanks to fighting machines. One needs to look no farther than Iraq or Afghanistan, where the world's most advanced military is forced to fight infantry-based wars in which even soldiers in "safe" rear-echelon areas are subject to regular attack, to realize that combat remains--at its core--a human endeavor. On that note, Kurzweil's prediction that wars between nations would remain rare in 2009 is so far vindicated by the occurrence of only two such wars since 1999--one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan. While numerous conflicts rage elsewhere, Kurzweil was right to foresee that they would primarily pit regular forces against terrorists.


Kurzweil sucsessfully predicted privacy emerging as a political issue (see CCTV: Privacy). Surveillance cameras. ...


The Age of Spiritual Machines also features a "Timeline" section at the end, which summarizes both the history of technological advancement and Kurzweil's predictions for the future.[24] Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ...


Other Sources

In an October 2002 article published on his website, Kurzweil stated that "Deep Fritz-like chess programs running on ordinary personal computers will routinely defeat all humans later in this decade."[25] Deep Fritz is a multi-processor version of the computer chess engine Fritz written by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist. ...


Deep Fritz is a computer chess program--generally considered superior to the older Deep Blue--that has defeated or tied a number of human chess masters and opposing chess programs.[26] Due to advances in personal computer performance, the Deep Fritz program can now run on ordinary personal computers, and different versions of it are available for purchase.[27][28] While this makes the first part of Kurzweil's prediction true, it is unknown whether the Deep Fritz programs are currently defeating ALL humans in ALL games played, though considering the impressive professional record of Deep Fritz, it would be reasonable to assume that only the very best human players can beat the program with consistency. Deep Fritz is a multi-processor version of the computer chess engine Fritz written by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Deep Fritz is a multi-processor version of the computer chess engine Fritz written by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist. ... Deep Fritz is a multi-processor version of the computer chess engine Fritz written by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist. ... Deep Fritz is a multi-processor version of the computer chess engine Fritz written by Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist. ...


Criticism

Published books

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005)
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005)

Kurzweil's most recent book, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005), ISBN 0670033847, deals with the fields of genetics, nanotech, robotics, and the rapidly changing definition of humanity. Image File history File links Kurzweil_singularity_bookcover. ... Image File history File links Kurzweil_singularity_bookcover. ... Cover of the book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Viking Penguin, ISBN 0-670-03384-7) is a 2005 update of Raymond Kurzweils 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines and his 1987 book The Age of Intelligent Machines. ... DNA, the molecular basis for inheritance. ... A mite next to a gear chain produced using nanotechnology Nanotechnology as a collective term refers to technological developments on the nanometer scale, usually 0. ... Robotics is the science and technology of robots, their design, manufacture, and application. ...


Other works by Kurzweil:

  • The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990)
  • The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life (1994)
  • The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (1999)
  • Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever (2004)
  • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2005)
  • The Ray Kurzweil Reader: The Ray Kurzweil Reader is a collection of essays by Ray Kurzweil on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, radical life extension, conscious machines, the promise and peril of technology, and other aspects of our future world. These essays, all published on KurzweilAI.net from 2001 to 2003, are now available as a PDF document for convenient downloading and offline reading. The 30 essays, organized in seven memes (such as "How to Build a Brain"), cover subjects ranging from a review of Matrix Reloaded to "The Coming Merging of Mind and Machine" and "Human Body Version 2.0."
  • Kurzweil is the co-author (and subject) of the 2002 book Are We Spiritual Machines?: Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.. He also wrote the introduction to the 2003 artificial personality book Virtual Humans and collaborated with the Canadian band Our Lady Peace for their 2000 album Spiritual Machines.

The Age Of Intelligent Machines is the title of an Artificial Intelligence documentary (1987) and book (1990, ISBN 0262111217 / ISBN 0262610795) by futurist Ray Kurzweil; this was his first book and it won the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990 award by the Association of American Publishers. ... Time periods between key events in human history shrink expotentially in a chart by Kurzweil depicting his Law of Accelerating Returns, explained in the book. ... Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, published in 2004, is a book authored by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman. ... Cover of the book The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Viking Penguin, ISBN 0-670-03384-7) is a 2005 update of Raymond Kurzweils 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines and his 1987 book The Age of Intelligent Machines. ... Our Lady Peace, abbreviated as OLP, is a Canadian alternative rock band consisting of Raine Maida (vocals), Duncan Coutts (bass), Jeremy Taggart (drums), and Steve Mazur (guitar). ... Spiritual Machines is the title of Our Lady Peaces fourth album. ...

See also

When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... Paradigm shift is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... When plotted on a logarithmic graph, 15 separate lists of paradigm shifts for key events in human history show an exponential trend. ... Natasha Vita-Mores Primo is an artistic depiction of a hypothetical posthuman of transhumanist speculation. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Piano performance is seen at the beginning of his C-SPAN interview on CSPAN-2 Book TV, November 5, 2006
  2. ^ PBS - They Made America: "Revolutionaries"
  3. ^ Raymond Kurzweil Back At Kurzweil Music Systems!
  4. ^ Ray Kurzweil, Material Girl
  5. ^ Defunct link: please fix
  6. ^ http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/14/100008848/
  7. ^ Nanotech Could Give Global Warming a Big Chill (July, 2006)
  8. ^ Nanotech and climate change in C-SPAN interview on CSPAN-2 Book TV, November 5, 2006 (about 1 hour into 3 hr interview)
  9. ^ "The Law of Accelerating Returns"
  10. ^ Wired News: " Never Say Die: Live Forever"
  11. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1310/is_2001_Feb/ai_70910777/pg_3
  12. ^ http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/issues/2003/Mar/Precision_Weapons.htm
  13. ^ http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/predator/
  14. ^ http://www.newemotion.it/en/car.php?ProdID=402
  15. ^ http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=107011
  16. ^ http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=107011
  17. ^ http://www.knfbreader.com/index.html
  18. ^ http://www.physorg.com/news95575580.html
  19. ^ http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Boards/
  20. ^ http://laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/features.shtml
  21. ^ http://laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/specs.shtml
  22. ^ http://content.undp.org/go/newsroom/january-2006/100-dollar-laptop-20060128.en?categoryID=349425&lang=en
  23. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/software/2007-01-02-one-laptop_x.htm
  24. ^ http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0274.html
  25. ^ http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0527.html?printable=1
  26. ^ http://www.chessgames.com/player/deep_fritz.html
  27. ^ http://www.chessbase.com/shop/product.asp?pid=304
  28. ^ http://www.chesscentral.com/software/deep-fritz-8.htm

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Book TV is a weekend program on upcoming and established authors broadcast by C_SPAN on the C_SPAN 2 channel. ... is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Book TV is a weekend program on upcoming and established authors broadcast by C_SPAN on the C_SPAN 2 channel. ... is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Persondata
NAME Kurzweil, Raymond
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION Author, Scientist, & Futurist
DATE OF BIRTH February 12, 1948
PLACE OF BIRTH Queens, New York, United States
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Winners' Circle: Raymond Kurzweil (460 words)
Kurzweil, who invented the first reading machine for the blind, was awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2001.
Kurzweil graduated from MIT with a B.S. in computer science and literature (1970).
Kurzweil has written extensively about the future of computing and artificial intelligence and is the author of The Age of Intelligent Machines (MIT Press, 1990) and The Age of Spiritual Machines (Viking/Penguin Books, 1999).
Who Made America? | Innovators | Ray Kurzweil (465 words)
Raymond Kurzweil has advanced pattern recognition technologies, and developed tools for blind people, musicians, and many others.
Kurzweil's K250 synthesizer, the world's first keyboard-input computer instrument, debuted in 1984 and generated the sounds of various acoustic instruments.
Kurzweil, who has received dozens of awards and honorary degrees, continues to innovate and theorize about artificial intelligence (A.I.) at his Massachusetts lab.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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