updated 08:37 pm EST, Fri December 14, 2012
Kurzweil to come on as Director of Engineering
Ray Kurzweil announced today that he would be joining Google as Director of Engineering on Monday, December 17. The noted futurist, author, and inventor will be heading up new projects involving machine learning and language processing. In a statement, Kurzweil expressed excitement at the opportunity to work with Google, a company that has devoted considerable resources to realizing technologies that were until recently solely the realm of science fiction.
"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."