Ray Kurzweil will join Google on Monday as director of engineering.
He will focus on projects involving machine learning and language processing.
Kurzweil has a substantial resume working on similar projects. While perhaps best known for his book The Singlularity Is Near, he pioneered print-to-speech reading for the blind, the text-to-speech synthesizers and large-vocabulary speech recognition software.
Kurzweil received the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton.
“In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic. Fast forward a decade — Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Google to work on some of the hardest problems in computer science so we can turn the next decade’s ‘unrealistic’ visions into reality,” Kurzweil said in a statement.
Google couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.