Ray Kurzweil Launches RIT’s 2008-2009 Gannett Series

Pioneer in development of artificial intelligence will discuss the future of innovation




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Ray Kurzweil, inventor, entrepreneur and futurist, who is a key innovator in the development of artificial intelligence and radical life extension, kicks off the 2008-2009 Caroline Werner Gannet Project at Rochester Institute of Technology 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. Kurzweil will present “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,” an adaptation of his best selling book of the same name, in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center.

Kurzweil is a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition, text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition technology. He invented the CCD flatbed scanner and the Kurzweil Reading Machine for the blind, one of the world’s first speech-to-text systems. He has started 10 companies, including Kurzweil Computer Products, which was purchased by Xerox, and authored five books.

As a futurist, Kurzweil correctly predicted the explosion of the Internet and the use of computerized, intelligent weapons systems. He is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999.

The Caroline Werner Gannett Project was created in 2006 and brings in noted scholars, authors and artists for a series of lectures, colloquia and workshops related to innovations across different disciplines. For more information visit www.cwgp.org. All Gannett events are free and open to the public.