A Conversation with Ray Kurzweil and Tim O’Reilly

Ray Kurzweil has spent most of his life imagining what the future might be like, and then inventing it. In this keynote from 2010, Kurzweil shares his vision of the future with Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. The interview begins with a discussion about the Blio, the future of digital publishing, and finally the Singularity. This interview precedes the September 2010 release of the Blio, a TTS-enabled, full-color, web-enabled eReader.

As you listen to every word of this interview, you will become amazed at how dynamic and competitive the technology market has become. In this keynote from 2010, Kurzweil shares his vision of that market with Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. Kurzweil begins by sharing his take on the future of publishing, starting with the Blio eReader that Kurzweil helped develop.

Kurzweil has long been a pioneer and champion of enabling technologies for the blind and sight-impaired, having created the first "Reading Machine." These technologies paired optical scanning and the text-to-speech synthesizer to open up entire new perspectives. Kurzweil believes that the Blio continues that trend by incorporating TTS technology along with a broad approach to accessibility.

O’Reilly and Kurzweil discuss the possibilities and dangers inherent in various digital publishing pay structures, and the handling of DRM at various strengths. Kurzweil suggests per-page and per-minute pay structures. The eReader may change the form factor of texts, as the use of YouTube has reduced the typical video length to less than five minutes. A plethora of free material puts demands on the means of sorting out what is most interesting to read to any one reader.

Kurzweil takes us on a wild ride through the development of technology in general, on the steep sloping rollercoaster of Moore’s Law, where exponentially-increasing technological advances are met with exponentially falling market prices. Finally, Kurzweil talks about the Singularity and the pace of technology, in the context of the status of the book as a repository of human knowledge.

Ray Kurzweil, currently CEO of K-NFB Reading Technology (creator of the Blio e-reader), and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc., invented the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller.

http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail4861.html

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