Google hires a reputable futurologist

December 19th, 2012 - 03:08 pm ET by J. G.

Ray Kurzweil re-joined Google early this week. The futurologist and artificial intelligence expert has now become Google’s engineering director.

Ray-kurzweil_Bill-GatesSince the 17th of December, Ray Kurzweil has been Google’s director of engineering. His role within the group is rather blurred though. The 64 year old shared his enthusiasm for working with Google on "more complex computer problems."

"We will be able to transform unreal visions into reality in the coming decade". Ray Kurzweil has alluded to his work on a new project which automatically learns and treats language. These fields are covered by artificial intelligence, in which he is an expert.

Ray Kurzweil is also known for his predictions on singularity technology. In a not so distant future, artificial intelligence will be almost the equivalent of human intelligence, with human and machine intelligence to be merged.

These ideas are often taken with a certain degree of scepticism when predictions about humans who will download into machines to achieve immortality.

On the Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence site, Ray Kurzweil reminds critics that when they stated in 1999 that in a decade technologies like autonomous cars (which drive by themselves) and mobile telephones which answer questions would be available, no one would believe them.

With the right corporate spirit, Ray Kurzweil states that Google will be able to demonstrate such technologies.

Ray Kurzweil has previously worked on the Nuance voice recognition technology which is used by Apple’s Siri. But for him, Siri’s understanding of the natural language is "rather limited" and requires a lot of improvement; which he believes is feasible.

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