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Famed futurist to direct engineering at Google

via Sydney Morning Herald | Dec. 18, 2012
Futurist and inventor Raymond Kurzweil says that he is going to work as director of engineering at Google to help "turn the next decade's 'unrealistic' visions into reality."
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil.

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Photo: Trevor Collens

Futurist and inventor Raymond Kurzweil says that he is going to work as director of engineering at Google to help "turn the next decade's 'unrealistic' visions into reality."

Kurzweil, an author whose books include The Age of Spiritual Machines and Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, said that Monday would be his first day on the job at Google.

"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 criticised these predictions as unrealistic," Kurzweil said in an online newsletter on Friday.

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

"We're really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development."

Kurzweil, who will turn 65 years old in February, said he has been enthralled by technology, especially machine learning, since he was in his early teens.

He designed software that enable a computer to write original music and his inventions include the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, according to the website kurzweilai.net.

 

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