Intel has worked for the last two years to upgrade Stephen Hawking’s computer system, an assistive technology project that will have far-reaching benefits for the disabled.
Images © Intel
At a London event Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that “humanity faces an uncertain future as technology learns to think for itself and adapt to its environment.”
“Artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
Professor Stephen Hawking is arguably as famous for his computerised voice as he is for his ground-breaking work with general relativity and black holes. Intel has been working with Hawking since 1997, helping to maintain and improve the assistive computer system that enables him to interact with the world. As Hawking’s Motor Neurone Disease has advanced, his ability to communicate has slowed to one word per minute.
Hawking’s computer system uses a rudimentary timed interface. A cursor automatically scans across an on-screen keyboard and whenever the renowned physicist moves his cheek, he triggers an infrared sensor. This stops the moving cursor and selects whatever key or option the cursor was highlighting at the time.
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