Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil (born 1948) is an American inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields as diverse as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.
He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.
Ray Kurzweil: What we should teach in school in general is not this kind of spoon-feeding of facts, because we carry the facts around in our pockets. What they do need to learn is a thirst for knowledge and an ability to learn new material, to explore an area with a vision of what you want to accomplish. So entrepreneurship, where you have some passion for a project and you want to accomplish something—it could be a technology project, like a new search engine, like Larry Page and Sergey Brin did, and that was just kind of a college project. Or it could be a theatrical project or an art project, music, whatever. There are a lot of entrepreneurial initiatives at the college level and we need to bring that into high schools and junior high schools.
Well, a colleague of mine, Peter Diamandis, who’s chairman of the X Prize Foundation, and I started a new university. It’s a very entrepreneurially organized program where the heart of the program is the students actually taking on projects where they hope to make a major change in the world and affect a billion people positively within 10 years. They’ve taken on issues like solving the water problem or creating very inexpensive, high quality housing for the third world by creating basically modules that you can snap together a house using three-dimensional printing. It’s important to have that exponential perspective. I think that needs to be brought into education.