Futurist Ray Kurzweil Joins Google

By Khurram Aziz | Dec 17, 2012 10:31 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Renowned inventor, entrepreneur and so-called "futurist" Ray Kurzweil has joined Google as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.

The 65-year-old made the announcement on his Web site, saying he takes up his new position from Monday.

Follow us

"In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic," Kurzweil said.

"Fast forward a decade Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones," he added.

Kurzweil, whose books include "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever," made his name in the 1970s and 1980s in software development, scanning technologies, text-to-speech synthesization and digital music. However, he's probably most well-known for his theories on artificial intelligence and the point of "singularity" - when machine intelligence will equal human intelligence and achieve self-awareness.

His book, "The Singularity Is Near," was a New York Times bestseller and has been the number one book on Amazon in both science and philosophy. Kurzweil latest book is called "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed."

In 2002, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) inducted him into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

But some of Kurzweil's more far-reaching ideas are regarded with scepticism by many. These ideas include human ability to begin downloading their thoughts into computers to achieve "immortality" in just a few decades, as well as our ability to colonize the outer reaches of our galaxy.

Google confirmed that Kurzweil is joining the company in a statement sent to the press.

"Ray's contributions to science and technology, through research in character and speech recognition and machine learning, have led to technological achievements that have had an enormous impact on society - such as the Kurzweil Reading Machine, used by Stevie Wonder and others to have print read aloud," said Peter Norvig, director of research at Google.

"We appreciate his ambitious, long-term thinking, and we think his approach to problem-solving will be incredibly valuable to projects we're working on at Google."

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Featured Video : Ericsson Announces World-Leading Launches Ahead of Mobile World Congress 2014

Join Our Conversation

HTC LogoHTC One M8 Mini reportedly headed to Verizon – Will it be another exclusive?
LG G Watch officially detailed, coming in Champagne Gold and Stealth Black color options
Google, HTC to launch Nexus 8 this year to replace Nexus 7
LG G3 Mini leaks for AT&T, specs include 720p display and 8-megapixel camera
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Amazon LogoAmazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC LogoHTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google DowntimeGoogle blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
Chrome Remote Desktop app for AndroidChrome Remote Desktop for Android now available for free from Google Play
Adobe Lightroom mobile hits the iPad, coming soon to iPhones
Apple updates Mac iWork for iCloud suite – What’s new in Pages, Numbers and Keynote?
Microsoft launches Office for iPad, makes Office Mobile free on Android and iPhones
Copyright © 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. mobilenapps