Raymond Kurzweil

Updated: 05/02/2021 by Computer Hope
Raymond Kurzweil

Name: Raymond Kurzweil

Born: February 12, 1948, in Queens, New York, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • American author, inventor, and futurist. Aside from futurology, he is involved in fields such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments.
  • In 1963, at age fifteen, he wrote his first computer program. In 1965, he was invited to appear on the CBS television program I've Got a Secret, where he performed a piano piece that was composed by a computer he also had built.
  • In 1974, Kurzweil started the company Kurzweil Computer Products, Inc. and led development of the first omni-font optical character recognition system — a computer program capable of recognizing text written in any normal font.
  • In 1984, the Kurzweil K250 was unveiled. The machine was capable of imitating many instruments, and in tests musicians were unable to discern the difference between the Kurzweil K250 on piano mode from a normal grand piano.

Significant publications

  • How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed (2012).
  • Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (2010).
  • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (2006).
  • The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (2000).

Honors and awards

  • Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award (2009).
  • Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2002).
  • Lemelson-MIT Prize (2001).
  • Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology (2000).
  • 1st Place International Science Fair for inventing the classical music synthesizing computer (1965).


"Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it."

"Supercomputers will achieve one human brain capacity by 2010, and personal computers will do so by about 2020."