Ray Kurzweil Comes to Google
Ray Kurzweil has something of a cult following amongst those with a technological mindset. For over a decade he's been at the forefront of the singularity movement, which predicts the convergence of quantum computing, nanotechnology and neuroscience. A few years back he helped to launch Singularity University, a non-profit institution providing graduate level education in the topics surrounding the singularity.
Even with such lofty status however, a stint at Google is perhaps not top of many peoples predictions for what lay ahead for Kurzweil, yet that's precisely what he's announced via his website today.
He announced that he will be joining Google to work on projects surrounding machine learning and language processing.
“I’m excited to share that I’ll be joining Google as Director of Engineering this Monday, December 17,” said Kurzweil.
“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. 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.”
As a fan of Kurzweil myself I'm really excited to see where this partnership takes us. Exciting times indeed.