A story till you get back to the "voice" that Dr. Stephen Hawking lost
"Wheelchair physicistAlso known asStephen HawkingDr.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) is a British theoretical physicist who continues his research which has a great influence on contemporary cosmology although it is annoying. Dr. Hawking is the founder of IntelGordon MooreIn response to Mr. 's offer, I have received the latest customized PC which can be operated only with fingers and cheeks since 1997 and I do speeches and lectures by synthesized speech, but Dr. Hawking' s synthetic voice system and character input A story about how the system was developed has been released.
Exclusive: Giving Stephen Hawking a voice (Wired UK)
Dr. Hawking who developed ALS in his school days continues his research using customized PCs, etc. However, he was in critical condition due to pneumonia suffered in 1985 and received treatment for tracheotomy. As a result, although I had to take a life, I could not make a voice. Dr. Hawking, who can no longer speak, will use a system that inputs letters by word card and eyebrow movement instead of speaking.
Martin King, a physicist developing a modern communication system with Dr. Hawking, provides computer input assistance software for Doctor who has lost voiceWords PlusWalter Waltos, CEO, asked "Can you support a university professor who suffers from ALS in the UK?" Mr. Waltz asked, "Would you like to be Professor Steven Hawking?", But he could not know the name.
Originally, Words Plus software was developed for mothers who lost their ability to talk and write by ALS, and Mr. Waltus, who was asked for answers, granted an offer saying, "Let's donate everything we need." did. As a result, Dr. Hawking's nurse and engineer David Mason completed a portable communication system that can be mounted on a wheelchair based on the Words Plus system, Dr. Hawking can communicate with others at a rate of 15 words per minute It is said that it came to be.
In a communication system mounted on a wheelchair, you can select and enter computer languages and commands by moving your thumb with your remote control, but the medical condition of Dr. Hawking is progressing slowly and in 2008 the hand power is weak It became impossible to operate the remote control too much. From this, Mr. Mason succeeded in developing a device called "cheek switch" that detects the tension of the cheek muscles by the infrared device attached to the glass veneer. Since then, Dr. Hawking has been able to do tasks such as "composing e-mails", "browsing", "writing books" and "synthesizing speech" with just cheek muscles without using hands.
However, by 2011, Dr. Hawking's body's ability continues to decline, and even using a cheek switch it can only enter one or two words per minute. Therefore, Dr. IntelHonorary Chairman of Moore asked for cooperation. In response to this, Intel formed five expert teams of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from laboratory personnel to develop Dr. Hawking's new communication system.
The interface of Dr. Hawking at the time used a program called "Words Plus" EZ key "and had functions such as" screen keyboard "," basic word prediction algorithm "," mouse cursor ". When Intel's team interviewed Dr. for the first time, Dr. took 30 minutes to say 30 words and Intel's team said "It is a much more difficult problem than we thought at that time I understood it. "
Initially, Intel's team had a face recognition and eye tracking system,Brain machine interfaceAlthough I was considering application of existing technology like that, none of them worked well.
The team of Intel came to the conclusion that "Dr. Hawking's detailed feedback is necessary" and in a few months I sent prototype of the new interface to Dr. Hawking. As a result of trying out the new interface, Dr. Hawking, who originally used a rather old-fashioned system, has developed a new word prediction algorithm that automatically predicts sentences and input them, and a "back button" to delete characters It was found that what the team thought of as "simple change", such as the assignment of the operation function of the item, would become "a serious change" for the doctor. In addition, in the character input system using gaze recognition, we also found that 'perfectionist' is unbearable often by Dr. Hawking who is a 'perfectionist'.
The team who received the feedback adds a function that predicts Dr. Hawking's intention by selecting it by character recognition algorithm like that used in mobile phones and so on. In June 2014, Dr. Hawking visited Intel's laboratory and used it for this algorithm, he said that it was "a great improvement". However, it became obsolete because I could not get used to the function that enables more than two operations with one back button. "Although he is one of the smartest humans in the world, he has no opportunity to use the latest technology like the iPhone, let us teach how to use the latest technology to the world's smartest 72-year old grandpa, We were talking about it. "
Dr. Hawking was trained in the operation of the new algorithm, and further improvements were added to the interface, so the input speed of characters increased. Furthermore, it becomes possible to select shortcuts such as "talk", "search", "mail" by context menu, and the function for talking by synthesized speech is also improved. Also, Dr. Hawking was able to move the jaw horizontally, so there is a possibility that the wheelchair can be operated autonomously with a joystick attached to the chin.
In addition, when Dr. Hawking used Speech Plus of synthetic speech software in 1988, Dr. Hawking has requested the creation of synthesized speech from his own voice, wife, daughter, and "Beautiful Betty" of female voice, child "Kit the Kid" of voice and "Perfect Paul" of male voice are completed. Dr. Hawking has a strong attachment to his own voice that can not be uttered now and Intel's research team finds a backup of "Perfect Paul" in order to eliminate the need to change synthesized speech by device change, and Dr. Hawking himself We are working on the development of voice software.