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US-based technology giant, Intel, announced that they are going to freely release the speech software of Stephen Hawking that helps him to communicate with the outside world. This will be made available online sometime soon, it is being hailed as a move that could help millions of motor neuron disease sufferers.

The announcement was said in a press conference by Intel on Tuesday in London. “By making this technology freely available, it has the potential to greatly improve the life of disabled people all over the world,” said Hawking in the robotic voice of his computer. He added, “Without this, I would not be able to speak to you today.” Stephen Hawking was age diagnosed at the age of 21 with a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Lama Nachman of Intel Labs said about the speech software of Stephen Hawking:

“Technology for the disabled is often a proving ground for the technology of the future.”

Three million people worldwide are infected by the motor neuron disease. This advanced computerized wheelchair system would be made freely available to online researchers on an “Open Source” basis. Intel has also pointed out that before the technology needs to be adapted to the individual user’s needs.

Intel said in a statement,”Hawking’s typing speed is twice as fast and there is a tenfold improvement in common tasks.” The current speech software of Stephen Hawking has been developed by Intel over the past three years and the advanced technique used in it, reduces the number of moves needed to spell a word. British digital keyboard firm, SwiftKey, too have been a partner in the development of this system.

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


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