One of the leading inventors of our time, Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition system, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition system and the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments.
Kurzweil has authored four national bestselling books, including The Singularity is Near, a New York Times best seller and the #1 ranked book on Amazon in both science and philosophy. His latest book, How to Create a Mind, The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, was released by Viking in November 2012.
The Wall Street Journal described Kurzweil as “the restless genius.” Forbes dubbed him “the ultimate thinking machine” and Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.
Among Kurzweils’ many honors is the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the world's largest for innovation. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. And in 2002, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He has earned 19 honorary doctorate degrees and honors from three U.S. presidents.