Movers and shakers: Ray Kurzweil, a restless genius

August 26, 2013

By all accounts, Ray Kurzweil is a genius, a “restless genius,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Forbes called him the “ultimate thinking machine,” while PBS picked him as one of 16 “Revolutionaries Who Made America” — a list that included legends like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

You know those names every time you flick on a light or jump into a car, but despite helping the blind to read, transforming music and contributing major ideas to the field of artificial intelligence, he doesn’t yet stand out among the Pantheon of inventors.

Why? Unlike the other greats, he’s still alive, as prolific as ever. In fact, you use his innovations every day, whether the CCD flatbed scanner or text-to-voice translation software, among others. Or, perhaps you’ve read one of his five best-selling books, which discuss futurist ideas such as the age of intelligent machines or “singularity,” a point in 2045 where technology outstrips our ability to comprehend it. […]