Monday, April 14, 2008

Speaker Profile: Ray Kurzweil

This week, we’re taking a look at one of today’s most successful inventors, Ray Kuzweil. Ray will be joining us at the PDMA/IIR sponsored Front End of Innovation Conference May 19th through the 22nd at the Boston World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel. Kurzweil will be presenting the keynote address “The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: The Impact on Business, the Economy and Society.”

Ray Kurzweil is known as one of today’s brightest inventors, and even been hailed as today’s Thomas Edison (Source). He has won numerous awards and one of the most prestigious being the National Medial of Technology in 1999. In 2002, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame. He has five books The Singularity is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology, The Age of Spiritual Machines : When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever, 10% Solution for a Healthy Life : How to Reduce Fat in Your Diet and Eliminate Virtually All Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer, and The Age of Intellectual Machines.

Some of the inventions Ray is known for are a reading machine for the blind, a CCD Flashbed Scanner, and the electronic synthesizer (Wikipedia). Ray’s personal website, KurzweilAI.Net, is a site dedicated to keeping the scientific would up to date with the newest information in the scientific world.

One of the most innovative ideas Ray is known for is his quest to find immortality. He believes that we are within the grasps of technology, but we have to first understand the full engineering of both our human body and brain. There is a great interview with Ray on that topic at What is Enlightenment Magazine. You can also read a collection of Ray’s essays here.

We invite you to come see this world class innovator at our conference. We hope you can join us for the Ray Kruzweil keynote speech on May 21st at the Front End of Innovation Conference. Next week, we’ll profile Dean Kamen, who is known for his extensive work with robots that work to increase the standard of living for many Americans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read Fantastic Voyage, The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near, and they changed my life. I even found some of his lectures on Itunes and I find myself impatiently awaiting his next book.

Recently read another incredible book that I can't recommend highly enough, especially to all of you who also love Ray Kurzweil's work. The book is ""My Stroke of Insight"" by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. I had heard Dr Taylor's talk on the TED dot com site and I have to say, it changed my world. It's spreading virally all over the internet and the book is now a NYTimes Bestseller, so I'm not the only one, but it is the most amazing talk, and the most impactful book I've read in years. (Dr T also was named to Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People and Oprah had her on her Soul Series last month and I hear they're making a movie about her story so you may already have heard of her)
If you haven't heard Dr Taylor's TEDTalk, that's an absolute must. The book is more and deeper and better, but start with the video (it's 18 minutes). Basically, her story is that she was a 37 yr old Harvard brain scientist who had a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, and thanks to her amazingly loving and kind mother, she eventually fully recovered (and that part of the book detailing how she did it is inspirational).

There's a lot of learning and magic in the book, but the reason I so highly recommend My Stroke of Insight to this discussion, is because we have powerfully intelligent left brains that are rational, logical, sequential and grounded in detail and time, and then we have our kinesthetic right brains, where we experience intuition and peace and euphoria. Now that Kurzweil has got us taking all those vitamins and living our best ""Fantastic Voyage"" , the absolute necessity is that we read My Stroke of Insight and learn from Dr Taylor how to achieve balance between our right and left brains. Enjoy!

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