Stephen Hawkins voice was his trademark and he comments on his accent below. His driving intellect was given a voice and in his comments at the Reddit Forum in 2015 he said “Please encourage your students to think not only about how to create AI, but also about how to ensure its beneficial use.” It’s a wonderful thought that in the future our Magna Alexas will advise us on which spaceship to get on. RIP Dr Hawking, have a good flight, you wonderful man.
“Since 1997, my computer-based communication system has been sponsored and provided by Intel® Corporation. A tablet computer mounted on the arm of my wheelchair is powered by my wheelchair batteries, although the tablets internal battery will keep the computer running if necessary.
My main interface to the computer is through a program called EZ Keys, written by Words Plus Inc. This provides a software keyboard on the screen. A cursor automatically scans across this keyboard by row or by column. I can select a character by moving my cheek to stop the cursor. My cheek movement is detected by an infrared switch that is mounted on my spectacles. This switch is my only interface with the computer. EZ Keys includes a word prediction algorithm, so I usually only have to type the first couple of characters before I can select the whole word. When I have built up a sentence, I can send it to my speech synthesizer. I use a separate hardware synthesizer, made by Speech+. It is the best I have heard, although it gives me an accent that has been described variously as Scandinavian, American or Scottish.
Through EZ Keys I can also control the mouse in Windows. This allows me to operate my whole computer. I can check my email using the Eudora email client, surf the internet using Firefox, or write lectures using Notepad. My latest computer from Intel, based on an Intel® Core™ i7 Processor and Intel® Solid-State Drive 520 Series, also contains a webcam which I use with Skype to keep in touch with my friends. I can express a lot through my facial expressions to those who know me well.
I can also give lectures. I write the lecture beforehand and save it on disk. I can then send it to the speech synthesizer a sentence at a time using the Equalizer software written by Words Plus. It works quite well and I can try out the lecture and polish it before I give it.”