Ray Kurzweil is in the news this week. I think he’s a pretty interesting person. He believes the singularity is coming. If we can survive that long I think it’s a sure bet too. He’s just been hired at Google which seems highly appropriate or frightening depending on how you look at it. On a side note (pun intended) my favorite sample makers UVI are teasing a virtual version based on the Kurzweil K250.
“The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted. Proponents of the singularity typically state that an “intelligence explosion”, where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent’s cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human.” – Wikipedia
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The Kurzweil K2000 is a classic synthesizer/sampler workstation. Everyone I know who ever owned one still has it in their studio hooked up and running. Every few months I hear someone and talk about it’s magic sound and abilities. One interesting tidbit you may not know is that the synth division of Kurzweil is owned by a Korean parent company. You could say Kurzweil is like the Hyundai of the keyboard world.
The K2000 uses V.A.S.T. (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) which allows you to take any multi-sample, noise or waveform and process it using just about any synthesis technique. The source of these multi-samples are from the 8MB of ROM which hold tons of authentic and superb quality samples. The internal processing is 32-bit with 18-bit DACs. The K2000 uses 31 sound-shaping algorithms to provide a variety of resonant filters, EQs, continuous panning, amplitude modulation, crossfade, distortion, digital wrap, waveshaper, pulse width modulation, high frequency enhancement, low frequency oscillators, hard sync oscillators and mixing oscillators, all with real-time MIDI control. – www.vintagesynth.com
Ray Kurzweil is also a well known futurist with a pretty interesting track record. This week the NYTimes ran an article about Kurzweil’s latest predictions titled, “The Future Is Now? Pretty Soon, at Least“. Kurzweil says we will soon have the magic eat whatever you want and don’t get fat pill, cheap solar energy and within a decade we will fuse with technology and live forever. He calls that last bit “the Singularity”. Check out his book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology”: click here.
About 20 years ago he predicted blind people would be able to read anything by using a mobile device. knfbReading Technologies, Inc. in partnership with Kurzweil now sells such a product. Check it out here: www.knfbreader.com
So a name we all associate with a special synth is jumping around in the future. Do you own a Kurzweil workstation keyboard? Do you like them? Did you own one and miss it now?