Inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil is joined by Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson for a discussion of some of the biggest topics of our time, including the role of technology in the future, the Law of Accelerating Returns and its impact on brain science, and the coming innovations in artificial intelligence, energy, life extension and immortality.

 

This event is part of 7 Days of Genius

7 Days of Genius receives generous support from individuals and organizations, including the John Templeton Foundation.

Bio

Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers and futurists, with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called "the restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the "rightful heir to Thomas Edison." PBS selected him as one of the "sixteen revolutionaries who made America."

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed 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.

Among Kurzweil’s many honors, he received the 2015 Technical Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in the field of music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

Ray has written five national bestselling books, including New York Times bestsellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is a Director of Engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Tyson's professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way.

In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the Future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations (for Congress and for the major agencies of the government) that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security.

In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the Moon, Mars, and Beyond commission. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda. And in 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its prestigious Advisory Council, which will help guide NASA through its perennial need to fit its ambitious vision into its restricted budget.

In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and continues to write for the public. From 1995 to 2005, Tyson was a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine under the title Universe. And among Tyson's ten books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins, in which Tyson served as on-camera host. The program premiered on September 28 and 29, 2004.

Two of Tyson's recent books are the playful and informative Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, chronicling his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto's planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary "The Pluto Files", based on the book, premiered in March 2010.

For five seasons, beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson appeared as the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA's spinoff program NOVA ScienceNOW, which is an accessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.

During the summer of 2009 Tyson identified a stable of professional standup comedians to assist his effort in bringing science to commercial radio with the NSF-funded pilot program StarTalk. Now also a popular Podcast, and a limited-run Television Series on the National Geographic Channel, StarTalk combines celebrity guests with informative yet playful banter. The target audience is all those people who never thought they would, or could, like science.

Tyson is the recipient of nineteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson. On the lighter side, Tyson was voted Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People Magazine in 2000.

In February 2012, Tyson released his tenth book, containing every thought he has ever had on the past, present, and future of space exploration: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier.

Recently Tyson served as Executive Editor and on camera Host & Narrator for Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, the 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan's landmark television series. The show began in March 2014 and ran thirteen episodes in Primetime on the FOX network, and appeared in 181 countries in 45 languages around the world on the National Geographic Channels. Cosmos, which is also available in DVD and BluRay, won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, two Critics Choice awards, as well as a dozen other industry recognitions.

Tyson is the fifth head of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the first occupant of its Frederick P. Rose Directorship. He is also a research associate of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.

Neil deGrasse Tyson lives in New York City with his wife, a former IT Manager with Bloomberg Financial Markets, and their two kids.

Details & Ordering

  • Ray Kurzweil w/Neil deGrasse Tyson on Invention and Immortality

    Date: Mon, Mar 7, 2016, 7:30 pm

    Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd St

    Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall

    Price: from $32.00

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