Ray Kurzweil

Fee Band

  • Conference SpeakersOver £25k
  • AI & Robotics, Creative Thinking, IT & Online Business, Manufacturing & Eng., Science, Health & Medicine

The inventor of the flatbed scanner has been described as ‘the rightful heir to Thomas Edison’. Winner of the National Medal of Technology, he is also responsible for Optical Character Recognition, speech recognition and pioneering developments in music technology. Combining knowledge and experience of technology, society and behaviour, technology’s most credible optimist, looks to a future where human biology will merge with genetics, nanotechnology and robotics to create a new species of unrecognisable high intelligence and durability.


An inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil has been described as ‘the rightful heir to Thomas Edison’. His extraordinary career as an inventor started at high school, when he appeared on American television, playing a piano composition. He explained that the piece had been composed by a computer – which he had built himself. More than five decades later and he remains on the cutting edge of development as Google’s Director of Engineering.

After the composing software Ray went on to invent the CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition software, the first print-to-speech synthesiser, the first music synthesiser capable of recreating the piano and other instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition system.
Ray’s print-to-speech reading machine transformed the lives of thousands of blind people and he recently refined it into a pocket-sized version.

Described as a ‘restless genius’ by the Wall Street Journal, and ‘the ultimate thinking machine’ by Forbes, amongst his many awards Ray has received over a dozen honorary doctorates. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology, Lemelson-MIT Prize (America’s largest prize for invention and innovation), and the Louis Braille Award for service to the blind. He is included in the Computer Industry Hall of Fame and the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, established by the US Patent Office.

Ray is the author of many books covering the future of technology, the human mind, and creativity including
The Singularity is Near and How to Create a Mind - The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. As well as his phenomenal contribution to inventions and technology, Ray also predicted the fall of the Soviet empire, the growth of the internet, developments in artificial intelligence, computers with no moving parts, the demise of paper documents and the popularity of mobile phones. His insights into the future, technology and society have informed governments and businesses, and he is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading thinkers who, unusually, combines complex theories with real-world, practical experience.

More Details


Book written by Ray Kurzweil (US)


We’re on hand to help you find the perfect speaker, presenter or performer for your events. Call or email our London office and use our agents' experience to expertly match you with the right person for your programme!

From time to time we send out emails announcing new speakers and free tickets to our showcase events including Speakers Breakfasts and the JLA Real Variety Show. Please tick the box below if you would like to receive these emails.

Don't miss anything!

We will never share the data you submit here with a third party. Information is stored in a database in order to service your enquiry, but is deleted once it is no longer required. You may request to have this data removed at any time.

JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London