"Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil (// kurz-wyl; born February 12, 1948) is an American author, inventor, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google. Aside from futurology, he is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR),text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He has written books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, as has been displayed in his vast collection of public talks, wherein he has shared his primarily optimistic outlooks on life extension technologies and the future of nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology."
"Kurzweil has authored seven books, five of which have been national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in science. Kurzweil's book The Singularity Is Near was a New York Times bestseller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy. His latest bestseller is How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed."
"Ray Kurzweil grew up in the New York City borough of Queens. He was born to secular Jewish parents who had escaped Austria just before the onset of World War II, and he was exposed via Unitarian Universalism to a diversity of religious faiths during his upbringing. Kurzweil is an atheist."