Hawking: a revolutionary software

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The British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who speaks through a computer, announced on December 2 in London that his communication system, improved by the US group Intel, would be available free to the scientific community in January 2015 Charged with Charcot’s disease, otherwise known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), diagnosed when he was 21 years old, Stephen Hawking travels in a wheelchair and speaks on a computer. The scientist, completely paralyzed, manages to write on his computer by activating a sensor thanks to the contraction of a muscle of his cheek. The selected characters form words that are then pronounced by an artificial voice.

Ten times faster to surf

The work of Intel engineers, for three years, was to create a program to reduce the number of manipulations needed on his computer for example open a document or send a file by email. The British company SwiftKey has digitized all the books of the scientist to improve the deduction of the words he uses. This technology, which will not be accessible for free, allows the scientist to type “less than 20% of the characters” of the words he wants to write, the others being deducted. “The result is that Hawking writes twice as fast and his computer use is ten times faster to surf the internet, write or correct text, send emails,” said Intel. “Without that, I would not be able to talk to you , ” Stephen Hawking told a news conference.

Best for people with disabilities

“Making this technology available for free can potentially significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities worldwide,” he added. The California group of electronics manufacturers says “other researchers and technology experts” will be able to use their advances to “benefit everyone who has motor neuron disease and quadriplegia,” “three million people in the world . “This editable computer system will be made available to researchers and the free technology community, open access, from January 2015,” said at the press conference Lama Nachman, Intel engineer who led researches.

Expert in black holes

The astrophysicist has worked his entire career at Cambridge University on the expansion of the universe, black holes and the theory of relativity. In one of his latest books “Is there a great architect in the universe? “Dismantles the Isaac Newton’s theory by asserting that the universe did not need God to be created.