Skip to main content

Google Hires Ray Kurzweil as Director of Engineering

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."

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

  • joytech22
    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.
    Reply
  • misterawsome
    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
    Reply
  • spectrewind
    Does anyone here remember Kurzweil VOICE for Windows 3.1?
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    ...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.
    Reply
  • john15v16
    This is the same guy that made the sound synthesis engine behind the Kurzweil pc88...freakin amazing keyboard during it's time...
    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    Google is now officially unstoppable. I look forward to seeing what Ray Kurzweil can come up with over the next few thousand years.
    Reply
  • troutmask
    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.
    Reply
  • anxiousinfusion
    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.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    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
    Reply
  • virtualban
    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!
    Reply