World News – Stephen Hawking is known for his brilliant theories involving black holes, quantum mechanics … and One Direction. He is also known for his distinctive voice.
Now Intel is making that voice available to the public for free. The technology — called the Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) — was developed over three years by Intel Labs for Hawking, who has suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) since he was 21 years old.
Since then, it has allowed Hawking to share his views on everything from God to artificial intelligence.
Intel decided to make the source code open so that anyone with a Windows PC and a webcam (which is needed to track facial movements) can modify it to their own needs.
“Our hope is that, by open sourcing this configurable platform, developers will continue to expand on this system by adding new user interfaces, new sensing modalities, word prediction and many other features,” Sai Prasad, the ACAT project owner, wrote on Intel’s website.
Downloading the program will make it possible for anyone to speak like Stephen Hawking. Mimicking his brilliant mind, however, is still a lot more difficult.
by KEITH WAGSTAFF, NBC News