Why Stevie Wonder had to meet this inventor

In 1976, Stevie Wonder caught a segment on NBC’s “TODAY” show featuring a blind man like himself demonstrating a machine that Wonder knew he immediately needed to have. The machine was able to read text on a page and speak the words out loud, and it had been made to work specifically for blind people The device was the Kurzweil Reading Machine, named for its inventor, Ray Kurzweil. So the blind singer contacted Kurzweil’s company and went to its headquarters. After a quick demonstration, he became the company’s first official customer. So began a long friendship between the inventor and the musician. The two would eventually collaborate to produce a groundbreaking musical instrument that uses artificial intelligence to create sounds. Indeed, some form of artificial intelligence has been at the…


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