Google has hired an acclaimed science fiction novelist in an effort to make futuristic ideas a reality.
Google's new Director of Engineering is Raymond Kurzweil, a science fiction author and software engineer who predicted the advent of self-driving cars and smartphones intuitive enough to answer spoken questions.
"I'm excited to share that I'll be joining Google as Director of Engineering this Monday, December 17," said Kurzweil on his blog.
As the Director of Engineering, Kurzweil will focus on learning and language processing. The 64 year old has proven his worth by inventing the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind and software which enabled a computer to write original music.
According to TechRadar, Kurzweil is best known for his 'Singularity Theory,' which examines the point when machines will outsmart humans.
A happy Kurzweil took to his blog to announce his appointment:
"I've always worked to create practical systems that will make a difference in people's lives, which is what excites me as an inventor.
"In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticised these predictions as unrealistic.
"Fast forward a decade - Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phonesâ€¦
"I'm thrilled to be teaming up with Google to work on some of the hardest problems in computer science so we can turn the next decade's 'unrealistic' visions into reality."
Kurzweil's novels include The Age of Spiritual Machines and Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. His first day on Google's payroll is today, Monday the 17th of December.