Quantcast
Connect with us

Stephen Hawking’s speech software set to be made available in open source format

Published

on

The system that helps Stephen Hawking communicate with the outside world will be made available online from January in a move that could help millions of motor neurone disease sufferers, scientists said Tuesday.

The wheelchair-bound theoretical physicist, who shot to international fame in the 1980s with his book A Brief History of Time, hailed the decision by US tech giant Intel at a press conference in London.

ADVERTISEMENT

“By making this technology freely available, it has the potential to greatly improve the life of disabled people all over the world,” said Hawking, his words relayed by the robotic voice of his computer.

“Without this, I would not be able to speak to you today,” said the 72-year-old, who was diagnosed at the age of 21 with a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The communications system will be made available to researchers on the Internet as “open source”, although it would still have to be adapted for individual users.

Hawking, who teaches at Cambridge University, can write on his computer using a cheek sensor which is detected by an infrared switch mounted to his glasses and helps him select characters.

ADVERTISEMENT

His current system, developed by Intel over the past three years, reduces the number of moves needed to spell out words, as well as giving him new functions for the first time such as sending email attachments.

“Hawking’s typing speed is twice as fast and there is a tenfold improvement in common tasks,” Intel said in a statement.

The British company SwiftKey has also digitized all his works to help the computer guess more quickly what he is trying to say.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hawking, who is almost entirely paralysed, demonstrated the new system in public for the first time on Tuesday.
In a press release, he said: “Medicine has not been able to cure me, so I rely on technology to help me communicate and live.”

Quadriplegia and motor neurone disease affect over three million people worldwide.

Lama Nachman of Intel Labs said: “Technology for the disabled is often a proving ground for the technology of the future.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch a report on Hawking’s announcement, as posted by Agence France-Presse, below.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

Published

on

The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

Watch:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Brett Kavanaugh’s penis is back in the news’: Bill Maher breaks down the latest Supreme Court scandal

Published

on

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher broke down the latest scandal facing the United States Supreme Court.

"Brett Kavanaugh's penis is back in the news," Maher said. "The New York Times kind of tripped over his dick on this one."

Maher suggested the report reflects poorly on Kavanaugh's manhood.

"The problem is the woman, the victim, has no recollection of it happening -- which isn't really a ringing endorsement of his penis," Maher said.

Watch:

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

CNN analyst has a question for Dems: ‘How low will Trump have to go for you to impeach him?’

Published

on

Following a day of bombshell reports on the rapidly-growing scandal involving President Donald Trump and Ukraine, a CNN analyst wondered it will take for House Democrats to impeach the commander-in-chief.

Earlier on Friday, in an interview with NPR, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was still not in favor of impeaching Trump.

CNN analyst and New York Times contributing op-ed writer Wajahat Ali wondered what -- if anything -- could result in Speaker Pelosi backing impeachment.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image