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Intel Communications Input Devices Science

Intel To Help Stephen Hawking Communicate Faster 133

hypnosec writes "Stephen Hawking's ability to communicate has been deteriorating over the years and as it stands, he is only able to communicate at the rate of 1 word per minute. Intel CTO Justin Rattner has revealed that they are working on an interface that will boost the scientist's speech to up to 10 words per minute. Beyond twitching his cheek, Hawking is also capable of other voluntary facial expressions which can be tapped to achieve faster communications with the help of a better character interface and a better word predictor."
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Intel To Help Stephen Hawking Communicate Faster

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  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lattyware ( 934246 ) <> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @06:48PM (#42642341) Homepage Journal
    Isn't it a little awesome that he has become a (general) idol? I mean, everyone cries out that the current celebrity culture is terrible, and yet here we have a man who is everything everyone should aspire to, despite terrible adversity, and he is in popular TV shows, doing adverts. Isn't that a good thing? I am glad that we are moving on and people who in the past would only be icons for the geeky, or those in the field can become icons for everyone, because it means we are focusing on better things in people.
  • Eye Tracking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by monkeyhybrid ( 1677192 ) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:23PM (#42642603)

    A quick Youtube search turns up this example of eye-tracking tech for character input []. Yeah, it doesn't look to be much faster than Intel's proposed 10 words per minute but that clip is 5 years old and I'm sure it could be improved upon in a number of ways (instead of having to 'hover' over a key for couple seconds for it to confirm, maybe a twitch could be used instead).

    Only the other day we saw a demonstration of eye tracking being used with the Windows 8 interface. Something like that would allow him to browse the web, email, take notes, etc.

  • Re:I have an idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:25PM (#42642625)

    Instead of rehashing 1970s tech, could we PLEASE start understanding how the human body works and why some bodies destroy themselves in this way?

    Could you PLEASE stop assuming that there aren't thousands upon thousands of people actively engaged in all areas of medical science trying to do exactly this?

    Could you please explain why one of the most brilliant men of all time is sitting in a 70's era wheel chair using a fucking joystick and his cheek to try and type words when we already have EEG-based headcaps that fucking MONKEYS can use to play goddamn video games?
    Seriously man, quit making excuses. Biomedical technology for the disabled is at least 30 years behind CONSUMER technology and at least 50 years behind where it should be. He ought to be walking around his house in a thought- controlled, self-powered exoskeleton right now, and no I'm not joking for even a second. At the very least he should have a head-cap based interface for using his computer system instead of a half-assed muscle-proxy mechanism. And that's with shit that's damn near available at WalMart, no fucking joke.
    The state of actual medical research to fix conditions like his is in just as sorry of a state. Companies are too busy pouring cash into penis pills and weight loss drugs to spend R&D money on tailoring targeted DNA rejuvenation treatments. No, it's not just Sci-Fi, or rather it ought not to be, but assholes like you act like this is being feverishly worked on around the clock when in reality nobody is doing a GODDAMN THING.

  • Re:I have an idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrvan ( 973822 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @04:40AM (#42645077)

    If you were a very smart fellow in the 1800's with nothing but the most rudimentary knowledge of electricity, how would you go about understanding something like a portable radio transistor?

    Would you have advised the people in the 1700's to just stop thinking about electricity because they lacked fundamental understanding of it? How would that have brought us to where we are now?

    Do you think it would be possible to understand the human brain without computers (the cognitive models but especially the computing power needed for modeling) and electronic microscopes? Do you think it would be possible to build computers and electronic microscopes without a deep understanding of electronics (among other things)? And do you think we could get a deep understanding of electronics without the first crude experimentation with naturally occurring and static electricity?

    Sure, someone that would write a paper now on how a radio works by reversing engineering the circuit board without understanding the first notions of electronics is an idiot and would be duly ridiculed in the literature. An "inventor" from the 1700's who did experiments with rubbing amber or flying kites into the storm was a genius, someone doing it now would be an amateur at best.

    tl;dr: context matters

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