Raymond C. Kurzweil is a pioneer in several areas of the computer industry involving mainly artificial intelligence (AI). He was the main developer of many firsts: omni-font optical character recognition (OCR) software, text-to-speech synthesizer and print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, charge coupled device (CCD) flat-bed scanner, commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition software, electronic keyboard music synthesizer able to emulate the sounds of orchestra instruments such as grand pianos.
He founded and developed nine successful businesses in: OCR, speech recognition, reading technology, virtual reality, financial investment, cybernetic art, music synthesis, and other areas of AI.
He has written books on health, AI, transhumanism, and the technological singularity. He is a recognized leader in future studies.
Awards and Honors; national, international: Inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame, September 2002. Lemelson-MIT Prize, $500,000, US largest award in invention and innovation, 2001. National Medal of Technology, 1999, US’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in White House ceremony. Dickson Prize 1994 (Carnegie Mellon University, top science prize). Engineer of the Year, Design News. Inventor of the Year, MIT. Grace Murray Hopper Award, Association for Computing Machinery. Honorary Doctorates and honors (12) from 3 U.S. presidents. Film awards, 7 national and international.