Intel Corp. is looking for ways to help famed British physicist Stephen Hawking reverse the slowing of his speech, according to a senior executive with the American chipmaker.
Hawking was 21 when he was diagnosed Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable degenerative disorder that has left him almost completely paralyzed. While an infrared sensor attached to his glasses translates the pulses in his right cheek into words spoken by a voice synthesizer, the nerves in his face have deteriorated and those close to him say his rate of speech has slowed to about a word a minute.
Speaking late Sunday on the sidelines of a conference celebrating Hawking’s 70th birthday in the English city of Cambridge, Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner said his company had a team in England to explore ways to help the celebrity scientist communicate more quickly.
“This is a research project,” Rattner told The Associated Press, saying the team’s task was to gather data for further study.