Can We Talk?

Kurzweil's computer will listen

Raymond Kurzweil has always been way ahead of his peers. When he was twelve years old and his junior high classmates were struggling with book reports, Kurzweil developed a computer software package that was distributed by IBM. At age 17 he won a Westinghouse Science Talent Search award for a computer program that could write music in the style of Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven.

Today Kurzweil's peers are corporate giants like IBM and AT&T, and the competition is tougher. Yet the boy wonder, now 38, is still out in front. In 1982 his Waltham, Mass.-based company, Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, developed the...

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