The Da Vinci Society was founded in 2005 by UAT President Dominic Pistillo to honor the world's leading thinkers. The annual invitation-only event will feature a keynote address from Mr. Kurzweil to an audience of Arizona's key leaders in the fields of education, government and business on Friday, May 1st, 2009. Kurzweil will be involved in events leading up to the luncheon, including guest speaking at UAT's annual commencement ceremony and an on-campus book signing event that will be open to the public.
A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Ray Kurzweil is one of the world's leading futurists and technological visionaries. During his career as an inventor and entrepreneur, Kurzweil developed numerous groundbreaking technology systems, including an assistive reading device for the blind, speech recognition technology, a music synthesizer and investment software. Kurzweil is also the recipient of numerous honorary doctorate degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Technology, the Dickson Prize in Science, and the Lemelson-MIT Prize.
In "The Age of Spiritual Machines" and "The Singularity Is Near," Kurzweil expounds on his theory that the world will soon undergo a world-changing Singularity in which artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to an awakening in the universe and a new type of humanity that is integrated with machines. Kurzweil is also a leading proponent of human longevity and nanotechnology.
UAT is a leading innovator in education focused on new and emerging technologies. According to Pistillo, "At UAT we strive not only to provide an enriching educational environment, but to raise the bar with innovation, systems thinking and programming that will carry us through the 21st century. In that regard, we are honored to be able to present such a distinguished thinker as Ray Kurzweil with the Da Vinci Medallion." Other thinkers honored by the Da Vinci Society include renowned physicist Michio Kaku, systems theorists Dr. Margaret Wheatley and Dr. Fritjof Capra, and the society's honorary chair, Dr. Edward de Bono.
The University of Advancing Technology is a unique, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.