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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Ray Kurzweil: An Oral History Interview

Ray Kurzweil

Raymond Kurzweil

Raymond Kurzweil founded Kurzweil Computer Products in 1975. The Kurzweil Reading Machine, the first machine to convert books and other printed materials into synthetic speech, was introduced in 1978.

Its development required the invention of the CCD flatbed scanner, reliable optical character recognition, and the first full text-to-speech synthesizer. Kurzweil software advances include the Kurzweil 1000, and Kurzweil 3000 programs, which allow the use of the personal computer as an assistive reading machine for digital and printed text.

Kurzweil also founded Kurzweil Music, which developed the first synthesizer that could reliably capture the sound of acoustic instruments, and in the 70s contributed to the burgeoning data entry field with the invention of the Kurzweil Data Entry Machine. Currently, Kurzweil is looking forward to the publication of his latest book and pursuing an interest in life-prolongation technology.

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