The famous British physicist Stephen Hawking asked her help Intel in order to improve the system through which he communicates as his state of health gradually deteriorates.
Since the late 1990, Hawking has used Intel technology to select letters one by one from a screen. The last chapter in the collaboration of Hawking with the company opened 2011 when the professor addressed the Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, and informed him that his ability to write text was slowing down.
As the Scientific American magazine says, Intel believes there is room for improvement. The Technology Director of the company Justin Ratner noted during the Las Vegas CES report that Hawking's speech system could use more types of movement in the face of the professor.
A single coin
For over a decade, Hawking can only communicate with a twitch on his cheek, which is recorded by an infrared sensor in his glasses. The professor sits in front of a screen with alphanumeric characters. A cursor passes sequentially from character to character, and when it reaches the desired letter, Hawking can stop him with a twitching of his face. A voice synthesizer is finally going to deliver every full word.
Justin Rattner of Intel, who met Hawking last year for the 70 professor's birthday at Cambridge, said he hoped to speed up physical communication at five to ten words per minute.
Ratner noted that Hawking may also contract a muscle in his mouth and eyebrows, which could potentially be exploited by the system. He pointed out that the use of an extra contraction would allow the user to communicate with Morse signals, which would was a "great improvement".
Improve with a new algorithm
The system is now being improved with a new word prediction algorithm, while Intel also tries to incorporate facial expression recognition software.
This upgrading would be part of Intel's wider effort to develop software and devices that understand not only what the user says, but also how our facial expressions reflect our mood and intentions.
Steven Hawking, best known for his work on black holes, showed at the age of 21 years the disease of lateral amyotrophic sclerosis, which left him gradually paralyzed.
It is a rare case, as patients rarely survive for more than ten years after diagnosis.
In addition to Intel technology, the professor has also tested the iBrain of American NeuroVigil, a ribbon-shaped device that reads brain waves and converts them into words.