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Photo via hawking.org.uk
Photo via hawking.org.uk

How’s this for user-friendly? Intel has developed predictive-text software based on Stephen Hawking’s needs.

“He’s almost allergic to people forcing tech on him,” said Horst Haussecker, director of Intel’s Computational Imaging Lab, in an interview with Bloomberg News. “If you try to install anything he doesn’t like, he’ll kick you out the door.”

It took almost two years, but Intel reports that Hawking can now type at least “twice as fast” and browse and edit docs at least 10 times faster, too.

“Medicine has not been able to cure me, so I rely on technology to help me communicate and live,” said Hawking. “Intel has been supporting me for almost 20 years, allowing me to do what I love every day. The development of this system has the potential to improve the lives of disabled people around the world and is leading the way in terms of human interaction and the ability to overcome communication boundaries that once stood in the way.”

They used technology from language processing company SwiftKey, similar to that in smartphones, to predict what he’d be most likely to write next. “Hawking’s version suggests ‘universe’ as the word he’ll most likely choose after typing ‘the.’ If he chooses ‘black,’ the system will bet he’s going to select ‘hole’ next.”

This development doesn’t just give Hawking more superhuman powers, it will help others. The software will be free for approximately three million others with motor-neuron disease or quadriplegia worldwide.

Here’s the full video and press release from Intel:

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