Ray Kurzweil

For my eminent person project I have decided to study Ray Kruzweil.  The reason i have chosen Ray is because I have always had a passion for technology and books and I find his work to be interesting. We are similar and different in many ways. A couple examples of how we are similar is race and gender. A few examples of how we are different is age, religion. I intend to research Ray Kurzweil and gain time management, researching, writing and public speaking skills.

Ray Kurzweil was born on February 12, 1948 and grew up in Queens, New York, US. His family immigrated from Austria before he was born to avoid World War 2. His father was a musician and his mother was a visual artist. When he was young he enjoyed playing the piano and reading. His favorite series was called “Tom Swift”. Tom Swift was the story of how Tom would encounter seemingly impossible problems, then use his intellect to create an invention to solve it. The series was what inspired him to be an inventor.

He won first prize in the international science fair with one of his personal projects, and received a prize from Westinghouse Talent Search. He was also invited to the White House to be congratulated by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He graduated with a degree in both computer science and literature.

In 1974 he invented the omni-font optical character recognition system, a computer program that could recognize text in any normal written font. After completing it he decided he would use his technology to create a reading machine for the blind, he finished it on January 12, 1976 and it was called the Kurzweil Reading machine. His next major invention  was in the realm of electronic music instruments, he developed a device capable of successfully synthesizing and duplicating the sounds of a number of real instruments. After this he began to develop a computer speech recognition system for commercial purposes.

He also began to publish books and movies. He has written  quite a few books, his first was published in 1990. A notable and recent book of his is “The Singularity Is Near” written in 2005, which has been turned into major motion picture.

Kurzweil is currently married to  Sonya Rosenwald Fenster  a child psychologist who he married in 1975. He has two children; Ethan and Amy.

In 2012, Ray Kurzweil was hired as Director of Engineering at Google, where he continues to work.