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Ray Kurzweil to offer perspective on tech acceleration in 21st century

American inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil will headline a session entitled "The Acceleration of Technology in the 21st Century: the Impact on Media, Communications, and Society," April 13 at the 2010 NAB Show.

Kurzweil will begin the session with a presentation on how information technology is transforming traditional industries, including media and entertainment, into infotech businesses. He will explore how the exponential growth of technology and the influx of new chip-driven tools are upending free enterprise as we know it and paving the way for an unparalleled change in human history. After his presentation, Kurzweil will be joined on the stage by professor Donald Marinelli, executive producer of Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, for a special discussion of topics impacting Hollywood and the entertainment technology arena.

Kurzweil, who has been described as "the restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes, has been ranked by Inc. magazine as No. 8 among entrepreneurs in the United States. PBS has included Kurzweil as one of 16 "revolutionaries who made America," along with other inventors of the past two centuries. He is a six-time national best-selling author whose works include "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "The Singularity is Near."

Marinelli is a tenured professor of drama and arts management at Carnegie Mellon University and is also the executive producer of the institution's Entertainment Technology Center. The center is recognized internationally as Carnegie Mellon's "Dream Fulfillment Factory." Its emphasis is on bringing artists and technologists together to work on substantive, real-world projects that combine the latest digital media technologies with myriad artistic, educational and entertainment efforts. Marinelli's book "The Comet & the Tornado" will be released on April 6.