Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first CCD flatbed 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 other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s Web site KurzweilAI.net has more than 1 million readers. Among Ray’s many honors, he is the recipient of the $500,000 MIT-Lemelson Prize, the National Medal of Technology and the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He has received 15 honorary doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents. Ray has written five books, four of which have been national bestsellers. The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into nine languages and was the #1 bestselling book on Amazon in science. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity Is Near, was a New York Times bestseller and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.