Google Hires Ray Kurzweil

Posted Dec 15, 2012

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor that has joined Google.  Kurzweil, 64, has worked on computer and machine intelligence along with virtual reality projects.  Kurzweil’s projects at Google would involve machine learning and language processing as he will become a director of engineering starting on Monday.

“I’ve been interested in technology, and machine learning in particular, for a long time: when I was 14, I designed software that wrote original music, and later went on to invent the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, among other inventions. I’ve always worked to create practical systems that will make a difference in people’s lives, which is what excites me as an inventor,” wrote Kurzweil.  “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. Fast forward a decade — Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It’s easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we’re really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development.”

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition (OCR), the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.  Kurzweil also started technology insights website in 2001 called Kurzweil AI.