Originally posted by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Its sort of like the question, who is his "Chief of Staff"? On the Daily Show, Andrew Card revealed that the CoS is almost above the President, as his gatekeeper.
In recent days Hawkings has come out on controversial things like Artificial Intelligence and Global Warming. While he might be able to communicate with his robot voice, it still begs the question, who is in control of his datastream????
[edit on 16-5-2009 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]
On the computer, I run a program called Equalizer™, written by a company called Words Plus inc. A cursor moves across the upper part of the screen. I can stop it by pressing a switch in my hand. This switch is my only interface with the computer. In this way I can select words, which are printed on the lower part of the screen. When I have built up a sentence, I can send it to a speech synthesizer. I use a separate synthesizer, made by Speech+. It is the best I have heard, though it gives me an accent that has been described variously as Scandinavian, American or Scottish. I also can use Windows 98 through an interface called EZ Keys, again made by Words Plus. I am able to control the mouse with the switch through cleverly selected process from a small box shown on the desktop. I can also write text using similar menu's to those in Equalizer.
I can save what I write to disk. I write papers using a formatting program called TEX. I can write equations in words, and the program translates them into symbols, and prints them out on paper in the appropriate type. I can also give lectures. I write the lecture beforehand, and save it on disk. I can then send it to the speech synthesiser, a sentence at a time. It works quite well, and I can try out the lecture, and polish it, before I give it.
"In 1980, we changed to a system of community and private nurses, who came in for an hour or two in the morning and evening. This lasted until I caught pneumonia in 1985. I had to have a tracheotomy operation. After this, I had to have 24 hour nursing care. This was made possible by grants from several foundations.
Before the operation, my speech had been getting more slurred, so that only a few people who knew me well, could understand me. But at least I could communicate. I wrote scientific papers by dictating to a secretary, and I gave seminars through an interpreter, who repeated my words more clearly. However, the tracheotomy operation removed my ability to speak altogether. For a time, the only way I could communicate was to spell out words letter by letter, by raising my eyebrows when someone pointed to the right letter on a spelling card. It is pretty difficult to carry on a conversation like that, let alone write a scientific paper. However, a computer expert in California, called Walt Woltosz, heard of my plight. He sent me a computer program he had written, called Equalizer. This allowed me to select words from a series of menus on the screen, by pressing a switch in my hand. The program could also be controlled by a switch, operated by head or eye movement. When I have built up what I want to say, I can send it to a speech synthesizer. At first, I just ran the Equalizer program on a desk top computer.
However David Mason, of Cambridge Adaptive Communication, fitted a small portable computer and a speech synthesizer to my wheel chair. This system allowed me to communicate much better than I could before. I can manage up to 15 words a minute. I can either speak what I have written, or save it to disk. I can then print it out, or call it back and speak it sentence by sentence. Using this system, I have written a book, and dozens of scientific papers. I have also given many scientific and popular talks. They have all been well received. I think that is in a large part due to the quality of the speech synthesiser, which is made by Speech Plus. One's voice is very important. If you have a slurred voice, people are likely to treat you as mentally deficient: Does he take sugar? This synthesiser is by far the best I have heard, because it varies the intonation, and doesn't speak like a Dalek. The only trouble is that it gives me an American accent"
... Direct quote from Stephen Hawking's website