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Google Hires Ray Kurzweil as Director of Engineering

By - Source: Ray Kurzweil | B 14 comments

Inventor and futurist will focus on machine learning and language processing.

Google has hired Ray Kurzweil as its director of engineering, with the inventor and futurist set to work on "some of the hardest problems in computer science."

In a lengthy statement on his website, he said he would be focus on machine learning and language processing with the search engine giants.

"I've been interested in technology, and machine learning in particular, for a long time: when I was 14, I designed software that wrote original music, and later went on to invent the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, among other inventions. I've always worked to create practical systems that will make a difference in people's lives, which is what excites me as an inventor.

"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 criticized these predictions as unrealistic," he added. "Fast-forward a decade -- Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It's easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we're really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development."

"I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Google to work on some of the hardest problems in computer science so we can turn the next decade's 'unrealistic' visions into reality."

Google confirmed the appointment and pointed out that Kurzweil's long history of invention would prove to be useful for the company. "Ray's contributions to science and technology, through research in character and speech recognition and machine learning, have led to technological achievements that have had an enormous impact on society," said Peter Norvig, Google's director of research.

Norvig referred to the Kurzweil Reading Machine, which was used by Stevie Wonder and others for having words read aloud to them. "We appreciate his ambitious, long-term thinking, and we think his approach to problem-solving will be incredibly valuable to projects we're working on at Google."

 

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    joytech22 , December 18, 2012 12:25 AM
    I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.
    Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    joytech22 , December 18, 2012 12:25 AM
    I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.
    Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.
  • 6 Hide
    misterawsome , December 18, 2012 12:28 AM
    joytech22I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.

    you sir have a brilliant mind
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , December 18, 2012 1:56 AM
    Does anyone here remember Kurzweil VOICE for Windows 3.1?
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , December 18, 2012 2:16 AM
    ...and so Skynet was born from the bowels of Google.

    Lets maintain our perspective and decorum here folks. There is enough hate on the forum as it is.

    Laugh a little. Makes the day better all around.
  • 1 Hide
    john15v16 , December 18, 2012 3:11 AM
    This is the same guy that made the sound synthesis engine behind the Kurzweil pc88...freakin amazing keyboard during it's time...
  • 6 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , December 18, 2012 4:26 AM
    Google is now officially unstoppable. I look forward to seeing what Ray Kurzweil can come up with over the next few thousand years.
  • -3 Hide
    troutmask , December 18, 2012 4:55 AM
    IndignantSkepticI look forward to seeing what Ray Kurzweil can come up with over the next few thousand years.


    Look what he did the last few thousand years. Sure, the Dark Ages sucked a bit, but the Renaissance sure paid off.
  • 0 Hide
    anxiousinfusion , December 18, 2012 5:02 AM
    joytech22I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.


    I certainly wouldn't mind having a Google processor.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 18, 2012 5:14 AM
    joytech22I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.

    Cool as that might be they would be much more likely to delve into ARM world as so much of their software runs on it
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , December 18, 2012 7:18 AM
    I am more excited at what Ray will do with Google's policy of workers working on what they want and like 20% of their time.
    Internet projected into the retina and commanded directly by the brain, here we come!
  • 1 Hide
    zeratul600 , December 18, 2012 9:57 AM
    Google and AMD sounds cool, BUT I WANT DEATHRAYS! who needs to have a legal battle with apple when you can burn those damn hipsters to the ground?
  • 2 Hide
    mpioca , December 18, 2012 11:25 AM
    Google has become such a great company over the last few years. It's always good to hear such innovators teaming up!
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 18, 2012 11:41 AM
    joytech22I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.

    as much as i would love to see the injection of cash to amd and google's innovation it is the same reason nobody has bought VIA.. they do very little with thier x86 license and some people even here would have to search for VIA to even realise they are A. a company and B. also have an x86 license... they would have been bought out many years ago if it were transferable

    still excited to see kurzweil hired by google. I have enjoyed his books
  • 0 Hide
    richarduk , December 18, 2012 7:20 PM
    misterawsomeyou sir have a brilliant mind

    star
    joytech22I know this is totally off-topic, but Google should totally buy AMD.Just imagine the money they could pour into R&D.. In a few years AMD could have their serious face on and nobody would be laughing.


    Start an online campain? :)