Public Speaking Details and Video
Ray Kurzweil gives over fifty presentations around the world each year. In 2009 he spoke in eight countries to influential groups including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Fortune Magazine, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin, Credit Suisse, TED, and Edwards Lifesciences.
Kurzweil’s far reaching and optimistic views on the future of technology and its implications for society resonate with a wide range of audiences including top U.S. security officials, senior healthcare policy makers, private investors, scientists, business executives, and academic communities. His research and remarks focus on the exponential growth of technology (in his terms “The Law of Accelerating Returns”) and its path towards ubiquitous computing, reverse engineering the brain, full immersion virtual reality, nanotechnology, the merging of human and machine, and ultimately extreme human life extension. He describes a bright future in which technology will provide solutions to the most pressing social, economic, and environmental problems. Kurzweil often shapes his presentations towards the following topics:
- Health and Medicine
- Business & Investing
- Disabilities & Assistive Technologies
Kurzweil’s presentations are rich with content. His PowerPoint is a key tool in helping audiences visualize exponential trends and future scenarios with multiple up-to-date charts, graphs, animated images, and imbedded movies. He often engages in extended Q&A and on-stage dialogues following his lectures.
Kurzweil frequently gives live and interactive virtual lectures via Teleportec Teleporter or standard videoconferencing. He is the only speaker in the world to have a Teleportec system installed in his office that enables him to appear as if he were at an event, on stage, in person and in three dimension behind a wooden lectern. It is quite a dramatic illusion and creates a feeling of personal presence far beyond standard videoconferencing. Kurzweil Technologies has an in-house studio with professional lighting, a broadcast quality camera specifically optimized for videoconferencing demands, and a top-of-the-line Tanberg codec that connects over ISDN lines or the Internet. After six years of successful collaboration with Teleportec, Kurzweil has a comprehensive system to produce a high-quality and reliable virtual appearance. As an alternative, standard videoconferencing is a cost effective way of having Kurzweil give live remarks followed by interactive Q&A.
In addition to his many lectures, Kurzweil is involved in some exciting and groundbreaking projects. He is the co-founder and Chancellor of Singularity University (SU), a new university launched in June 2009 based on Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity is Near. SU is backed by NASA and Google, and opened its doors to an inaugural class of 40 students on June 29, 2009 at its campus at NASA Ames Research Park with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges.” The student body was narrowed from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants from around the globe. ePlanet Ventures and Google are lead corporate sponsors. Kurzweil announced the creation of SU at the TED conference in February 2009 spawning over 1,000 press articles on the subject.
Kurzweil is currently writing his seventh book, How the Mind Works and How to Build One. According to his models we are only two decades from fully modeling and simulating the human brain.
Reverse-engineering the human brain may be regarded as the most important project in the universe, the goal of which is to understand precisely how the brain works, and then to use these revealed algorithms as a basis for creating even more intelligent machines. As we learn the algorithms underlying human intelligence, we will be able to engineer it to vastly extend the powers of our intelligence. He argues that it was inevitable for a species to evolve capable of creating its own evolutionary process in the form of intelligent technology.
Transcendent Man — a feature-length film about Ray Kurzweil’s life and ideas — premiered at three film festivals in 2009 with appearances by Kurzweil at each including the Tribeca Film Festival in, the AFI Film Festival at the Mann Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA , and at the International Documentary Film Festival at the Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam. The acclaimed film documents Kurzweil as he travels the world to share his vision of the future and includes interviews with 22 noted luminaries such as Colin Powell, Peter Diamandis, Dean Kamen, William Shatner, Stevie Wonder, and Kevin Warwick. Original theme music is by noted American composer Philip Glass. The film is available for digital download on iTunes.
In 2010, knfb Reading Technology™ partnered with global media distribution giant Baker & Taylor to create the Blio e-reader, which will deliver an advanced electronic reading environment for a new generation of digital content. The Blio e-reader software will operate seamlessly on a variety of electronic devices including personal computers, smart phones, and cell phones.
Kurzweil stated, “For every technology, there comes a tipping point when adoption starts to spread like wildfire, for digital books, that time is now. With Baker & Taylor’s market leadership along with our cutting-edge 3-D book technology — and our combined and rapidly growing repository of online books from leading publishers — we believe we have the key to transform the book industry.”
“Blio e-reader software is the new touchstone for the presentation of electronic books, magazines, and digital content. Its feature-rich design is perfect for today’s power readers, who increasingly rely on digital content for work, leisure, and learning. The extensive Blio Bookstore was created in partnership with Baker & Taylor, the world’s largest distributor of literary content and value-added services.” — the Blio website. For further information, and to learn more about the product’s features and layout capabilities, please visit the Blio eReader official website.
On April 28, 2009 Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Terry Grossman’s latest health book, TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever, was released by Rodale. The book presents a practical, easy-to-understand program to slow down the aging process, so that readers can live long enough (and remain healthy long enough) to take full advantage of the biotech and nanotech advances that have already begun and will be occurring at an accelerating pace during the years ahead.
The book draws from extensive scientific evidence for dramatic levels of life extension that Ray and his coauthor, Terry Grossman, M.D., first presented in their 2004 health book, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.