David Kirkpatrick

October 30, 2009

Congrats Ray!

Via KurzweilAI.net

Ray Kurzweil to receive The Economist’s Innovation Award
KurzweilAI.net, Oct. 29, 2009

The Economist’s Innovation Award for Computing andTelecommunications will be given to Ray Kurzweil today in London for contributions to optical character recognition (OCR) and speech recognition technology.

In 1974, Kurzweil was the principal developer of the world’s first omni-font OCR, and in 1984, he created the world’s first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition technology.

“Ray Kurzweil has used the advances in basic electronictechnologies to pioneer a range of innovative products inoptical character recognition, speech recognition,musictext to speech synthesis, and medicine,” said Andrew Odlyzko, Professor, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota.

“His vision and sense for how fast technology wasprogressing led to products that were usually not only first to market, but were commercially successful, and have assisted the handicapped, advanced the arts, and stimulated the imagination of countless other technologists and entrepreneurs. His work is a stellar example of the achievements that The Economist’s Innovation Awards are intended to recognize and encourage.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition,” said Kurzweil, Founder, Kurzweil Computer Products (now Nuance), currently CEO, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc. “In my work in optical character recognition and speech recognition, my goal was to provide new modalities for the transmission of human knowledge. As an inventor, I quickly realized that timing was critical to success, so I sought to develop models of how information technologyevolves. With these projections, we can use ourimaginations to envision inventions of the future, and I have tried to do that in my books and web sites such as KurzweilAI.net.”

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