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Intel To Help Stephen Hawking Communicate Faster

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the keep-talking dept.

Intel 133

hypnosec writes "Stephen Hawking's ability to communicate has been deteriorating over the years and as it stands, he is only able to communicate at the rate of 1 word per minute. Intel CTO Justin Rattner has revealed that they are working on an interface that will boost the scientist's speech to up to 10 words per minute. Beyond twitching his cheek, Hawking is also capable of other voluntary facial expressions which can be tapped to achieve faster communications with the help of a better character interface and a better word predictor."

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Cool (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642137)

I can't wait to be 10 times as bored.

Brain on a stick (-1, Flamebait)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642965)

Wheel it in. Let it pontificate.

There are shop keepers, with more to tell us of value and human understanding, that Hawking. What a sad investment of technology for this spectacle of intellect.

Really, Hawking has added nothing significant to the understanding or the quality of scientific discourse. There is no Bohr or Godel here. Not even an Oppenheimer. He is celebrated in the absence of greatness - like Kanye because there's no Marvin Gaye, or Cate Blanchett, because there is no Garbo.

An intellect without insight, Hawking is a part of our cultural train-wreck. Once great, we now admire the third-rate interpreters of the ruined edifice upon which they stride. Or roll.

Tennyson - Ulysses (4, Insightful)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643259)

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

It is not enough to have the ability to change the world. It is a rare combination of chance and circumstance, far more than any particular genius. Archimedes could not have formulated the questions that led to quantum electrodynamics. Nor is it fair to select a particular point of inflection out of a continuum of progress -- which discovery since the invention of the transistor is responsible for the processor in your computer?

You judge beyond your ken, and far above your station. I hope that you are ashamed of your comment, but console myself that it will likely receive all the attention that it deserves.

Re:Brain on a stick (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643633)

Hawking was the first to make a cosmological model by unifying general relativety and quantum mechanics. That's not easy, Einstein couldn't do it.

Re:Brain on a stick (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644719)

M-theory?

Give me a break. It fails tests of Godel - and is based on a mathematical supposition of unobservable, multiple dimensions. It's like adding new axes to a graph - to fit non-conforming data into a pre-determined hypothesis.

It is a sophomoric proposition illuminated by calculative sophistication. Wittgenstein, were he alive, would have ripped Hawking seven new assholes, and been mathematically correct in his exposition.

Re:Brain on a stick (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644751)

And I shall be epigrammatic: "M-Theory is a tautology".

Re:Brain on a stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644755)

one word a min is not fast enough for an epic rap battle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn7-fVtT16k

Sorry not sure how to do a hyper link

the most interesting tech intel puts out these day (0)

stooo (2202012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642161)

the most interesting tech intel puts out these days

Re:the most interesting tech intel puts out these (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643339)

Please tell me you are joking. The reason why I advocate more people buy AMD is because frankly X86 has gotten so incredibly powerful on BOTH sides of the aisle that I think its more important to have competition than to win some benchmark and the difference is like going from insaneo speed to ludicrous speed.

I mean look at some of the chips both have been putting out, even 7 years ago you would have had to spend just insane amounts of money to get anywhere near this performance and now you can get these sub 20w CPUs with multiple cores and GPUs that do full 1080p? Honestly people really need to take a moment to just stop and appreciate how fucking GOOD we have it right now. Hell even the Atom chip when paired with ION made for a pretty decent HTPC that used less power than a first gen P4 doing nothing, now Intel puts out these chips that just get totally incredible amounts of IPC and at an average of only 55w? That is just crazy, hell my Pentium D used more than that just sitting on the fricking desktop doing nothing.

So I would say if anything the slowdown in PC sales and the reason i recommend AMD is because Intel upped the game so damned high that even a low end chip is like a top fuel funny car and just blows through any job your average user can come up with without breaking a sweat. If Intel wouldn't have kept raising the bar with the tick tock cycle I wouldn't be able to buy 6 core CPUs for just $100 or get my customers damned nice laptops for less than $500 delivered.

The amount of power we get today just blows my mind and if you would have told me a decade ago I'd be typing on a website while listening to music, burning a DVD and doing a transcode and NOTHING would lag? Yeah I'd tell you to go back to your Star trek fanfic but here we are, where even the lowest laptop can do 1080P and multitask like crazy and our desktops are just monsters. I predict in 3 years, maybe less, we'll see ARM peter out as they aren't able to scale the IPC while Intel will just scale down a Core2 to where it uses like 2w max and runs rings around the ARM, it'll be like having a supercomputer in your pocket, just incredible.

Re:the most interesting tech intel puts out these (1)

stooo (2202012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644623)

Yes, the x86 tech has improved a lot.
However, the intel presentation at CES was empty. They presented a facelift of the same chip with stuff limited, and made false claims on it.
The competition (x86 or not) is not sleeping like that. intel needs to wake up if they want to survive.

Re:the most interesting tech intel puts out these (1)

LRAD (1822746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645481)

I agree with your views. A cheap, low wattage AMD chip is plenty fast and makes modern OS's go fast. Problem is Intel's stuff is at LEAST a little better, cheaper and lower wattage. If you can save money with an AMD chip, invest in an SSD as well. As far as I'm concerned that is going to make a desktop snappy almost regardless of (modern) processor. If you haven't used one before you don't know how slowly you've been using your system even if you have a top end Intel.

Re:the most interesting tech intel puts out these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42645679)

If you check Stephen Hawking's website:

"... I have also experimented with Brain Controlled Interfaces to communicate with my computer however as yet these don't work as consistently as my cheek operated switch. ... "

damn you autocorrect ... (2)

Dark$ide (732508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642177)

They're going to have to enhance the aurocorrect dictionary or it will make complete nonsense of Prof. Hawking's very technical speech.

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

ballpoint (192660) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642241)

Probably the other way round, it might grab sense from the jaws of his hard-to-understand utterings...

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642253)

The secret to time travel is to faux eat lemons.

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

youn (1516637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642531)

Lol, excuse me while I go to te grocery store and get some fake lemon :)

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644995)

Ah, ReaLemon. It there anything you can't do?

Cat and bird spray, room freshener, food additive, and now time travel!

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642541)

"fish fingers and custard"

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644367)

The secret to time travel is to faux eat lemons.

The secret to faux time travel is to faux eat faux lemons.

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643625)

if, as reported here recently, Watson can master Urban Dictionary then the literature for the grand unified theory shouldn't cause 'it' too much problems.

Hook Hawking's wheelchair up to Watson via wifi/3g and you're all set...

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643643)

The beauty of computers is without a sense of context, the conceptual difficulty of hardcore physics vs urban dictionaries sailor slurs would be completely irrelevant to it. So your probably right actually.

Re:damn you autocorrect ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42645295)

Yes, well obviously the autocorrect will keep "correcting" correct things to wrong things as it always does. This will be interesting coupled with Hawking's ability do the following : "twitching his cheek". The more autocorrect incorrectly "corrects", the more one will be tempted to twitch. My suggestion is therefore that the twitch is given one meaning and one meaning only "No, you stupid autocorrect, I do not mean any of your stupid correction options, I mean what I say, not what you want me to say".

I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642215)

Instead of rehashing 1970s tech, could we PLEASE start understanding how the human body works and why some bodies destroy themselves in this way? It would be FAR cooler to have a molecule that goes in there and repairs this damage. Atoms arranged THEMSELVES into working nerves once, they can do it again.

Is this too complex for us as a species? What happened to the "we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" spirit?

Re:I have an idea (4, Insightful)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642239)

Well I suspect principally because a company which builds computer hardware doesn't have a very large bioscience division.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642345)

Why not? They're the same thing when looked at the right way.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642389)

The overlap is still too small.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644473)

The profit margin is smaller. There would be too much start up cost for too little immediate gain. A bio-science division would likely take at least a half decade to get some feet on the ground, and 15 years to get a decent prototype of a project.

Re:I have an idea (1)

ryen (684684) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644691)

Oh really? Can you elaborate please? And are you also pursuing bioscience research in the same spirit in which you balk?

Re:I have an idea (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642365)

Instead of rehashing 1970s tech, could we PLEASE start understanding how the human body works and why some bodies destroy themselves in this way?

Could you PLEASE stop assuming that there aren't thousands upon thousands of people actively engaged in all areas of medical science trying to do exactly this?

Re:I have an idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642513)

Name two.

Re:I have an idea (4, Informative)

ntropia (939502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642695)

Name two.

1. Martinovich I., Perito, D., et al. [usenix.org]
2. House, P., Greger, B. [gizmag.com]

Notes:
- these are only two papers that made it into the public media in recent times
- it is a very conservative estimation to assume that each one of them involved the work of tens of peoples
- it is also safe to assume that there are many others that are still "pushing the boundaries of Knowledge" on the matter but are not enough "media-chewable" so they never reach the notoriously sloppy AC's attention

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642807)

No offense, but these people are describing the paint markings on the ICs inside a television without understanding the electronics behind them.

Re:I have an idea (3, Interesting)

mrvan (973822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645077)

If you were a very smart fellow in the 1800's with nothing but the most rudimentary knowledge of electricity, how would you go about understanding something like a portable radio transistor?

Would you have advised the people in the 1700's to just stop thinking about electricity because they lacked fundamental understanding of it? How would that have brought us to where we are now?

Do you think it would be possible to understand the human brain without computers (the cognitive models but especially the computing power needed for modeling) and electronic microscopes? Do you think it would be possible to build computers and electronic microscopes without a deep understanding of electronics (among other things)? And do you think we could get a deep understanding of electronics without the first crude experimentation with naturally occurring and static electricity?

Sure, someone that would write a paper now on how a radio works by reversing engineering the circuit board without understanding the first notions of electronics is an idiot and would be duly ridiculed in the literature. An "inventor" from the 1700's who did experiments with rubbing amber or flying kites into the storm was a genius, someone doing it now would be an amateur at best.

tl;dr: context matters

Re:I have an idea (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642625)

Instead of rehashing 1970s tech, could we PLEASE start understanding how the human body works and why some bodies destroy themselves in this way?

Could you PLEASE stop assuming that there aren't thousands upon thousands of people actively engaged in all areas of medical science trying to do exactly this?

Could you please explain why one of the most brilliant men of all time is sitting in a 70's era wheel chair using a fucking joystick and his cheek to try and type words when we already have EEG-based headcaps that fucking MONKEYS can use to play goddamn video games?
Seriously man, quit making excuses. Biomedical technology for the disabled is at least 30 years behind CONSUMER technology and at least 50 years behind where it should be. He ought to be walking around his house in a thought- controlled, self-powered exoskeleton right now, and no I'm not joking for even a second. At the very least he should have a head-cap based interface for using his computer system instead of a half-assed muscle-proxy mechanism. And that's with shit that's damn near available at WalMart, no fucking joke.
The state of actual medical research to fix conditions like his is in just as sorry of a state. Companies are too busy pouring cash into penis pills and weight loss drugs to spend R&D money on tailoring targeted DNA rejuvenation treatments. No, it's not just Sci-Fi, or rather it ought not to be, but assholes like you act like this is being feverishly worked on around the clock when in reality nobody is doing a GODDAMN THING.

Re:I have an idea (3, Insightful)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642777)

The state of actual medical research to fix conditions like his is in just as sorry of a state. Companies are too busy pouring cash into penis pills and weight loss drugs to spend R&D money on tailoring targeted DNA rejuvenation treatments. No, it's not just Sci-Fi, or rather it ought not to be, but assholes like you act like this is being feverishly worked on around the clock when in reality nobody is doing a GODDAMN THING.

Two points: (1) Do you claim to have a solution that can be implemented? (2) What are YOU doing about curing the diseasse?

I know it is fun to sit at home and bash medical R&D of focusing on weight-loss pills etc. But look at the statistics. About 5000 people in the US have ALS at any given time (and death rate is close to incidence rate of 2/100,000 per year: Citation [cwfo.org] ). So in the US (300 million population) that is 6000 deaths a year. Do you know how many people die due to obesity? Automobile accidents? Heart disease? ALS doesn't even count compared to those: Rank of causes of death.

Just so you know, I would love cures for a lot of diseases to be found (including ALS). But in the real world, companies focus on what makes business sense. Why should the NIH grants/Medical R&D focus on ALS when there are a lot more deaths due to other causes? Because one person who has it is famous? I'm sure there are a lot of smart/famous people (okay, may not be Stephen Hawking type of smart, but talented and contributing to society in other ways) who die of lots of other causes. We don't live entirely in a meritocracy that says Famous Guy's life is worth more than everyone else's and is therefore more deserving of resources.

Re:I have an idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643431)

i guess you threw that word "entirely" in there just in case reality came upon you in the next 5 minutes. And to your other point, I don't know many people who died of toosmallpenis syndrome.
And for the record, he did offer a solution - take available tech and USE it. instead of funding money grabbing research programs that are simply laundering schemes for inner city low income social democrats to which are kickbacks to insurance lobbyists. One thing is for sure, Hawkings sure as hell doesn't pay for HIS obamacare.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644117)

I could make an argument that obesity is self induced. Auto accidents are mostly due to stupidity, in which one stupid person takes himself and a random number of victims out. Heart disease is often due to self induced obesity.

GP may have a point, in that we should cure those diseases that are not self induced, before worrying about dumbasses who work hard to kill themselves. How much money went into all that penis hardening research, anyway? Every single dollar was a total waste. We don't NEED more old bastards running around trying to impregnate young women with old worn out sperms which are likely to produce retards. (And, in case you weren't aware of my age - I speak as an old bastard whose penis no longer stays rigid 24/7.)

The medical world is backwards in many many ways. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643703)

The medical world is backwards in many many ways. Think of all fields where practitioners get paid whether they succeed or not. They are all excessively expensive, backward, and often terrifying when you have to interact with them: medical professionals, lawyers, politicians (seriously, just use version control for congressional bills).

Medical science has some fancy technologies that have been developed which cost a lot of money to do something that could be done for essentially no cost with a simple change in the law.

For example take IVF technology. Baby making is big business. You have to pay $30,000 for a good chance to FAIL at having a child (really, the odds of success for each attempt are terrible) requiring the services of various technicians and doctors. Of course, the poorest people on earth have no problems making a baby, but it's totally illegal to sign a contract and then have sex with someone with the understanding that the child will go to the family that wants the child. This particularly impacts homosexuals who often have no legal way to get a child at all.

In any case, few people go into a medical field because they love technology . They do it because they're into people.

Sadly, hardware is expensive. We have always had lots of software innovation because individuals can write the software and then distribute it for nearly free. If hardware could be distributed as software we would open up the possibility of having single motivated developers make exactly the sort of things you're describing.

Maybe someday.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Dagger2 (1177377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643817)

As I understand it, the reason is because he doesn't want to use an EEG-based input.

Re:I have an idea (1)

zerotorr (729953) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643987)

Your're talking about what monkeys get and such, but i'm pretty sure what Stephen Hawking wants, Stephen Hawking gets. If it were possible currently, he would have it if he wanted it. Also, of course companies put money into what they can get out of it, penis pills and such, otherwise they wouldn't be companies! If you want something better, start lobbying your damn government to take it up and increase your taxes! Companies are for profit, because they are businesses need to repay their shareholders, otherwise no one will invest and they will stagnate. Government can increase R&D for non profitable research, but someone has to pay for that, and that will be you. And if you want to pay for it, then run for government or vote for someone who will make that happen.

Re:I have an idea (2)

Waccoon (1186667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644603)

What never ceases to amaze me is how we treat such brilliant people. I was surprised to hear how old his equipment is, how difficult it is to keep running, and how little his personal assistants are paid.

I understand he is not a rich man and caretaking is naturally expensive, but I would have expected more goodwill sponsors to come forward, if only for publicity's sake.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644741)

Hawking himself is very careful about the tech he uses. The man, quite understandably, does not want to lock himself into any form of communication that has a chance of vanishing with the vendor that operates it. If your keyboard is faulty, you go out and buy another. But if Hawking's keyboard is faulty, it is one of perhaps dozens like it in the world, serviced by a single manufacturer. Asking why Hawking uses the tech he does is like asking why Debian is so popular for servers. That's why this story is news, after all.

Re:I have an idea (2)

Cruciform (42896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645089)

Remember when he was taking applications for an assistant a while back? One of the requirements was that the individual would be able to repair his tech on-the-spot. Not just replace a keyboard, but do a teardown and get it back up and running again. That's another pretty good reason for him to stick with the tech he's had around for years. They can train the new people as they come in, and you're not playing catchup with new tech.

Re:I have an idea (1)

19061969 (939279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645457)

Hawking is fairly conservative with his tech. As another post said, working is the primary requirement, even if slow. Remember, a FUBARd system is no use no matter how cool or fast it worked in the lab.

Besides, Hawking has a nice media career going for himself: http://youtu.be/tOimeRod4TY [youtu.be] (yes, it really Hawking help sell financial products!).

Re:I have an idea (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645135)

Could you please explain why one of the most brilliant men of all time is sitting in a 70's era wheel chair using a fucking joystick and his cheek to try and type words when we already have EEG-based headcaps that fucking MONKEYS can use to play goddamn video games?

Because you're too busy wasting your life bitching about what hasn't been achieved by society while doing fuck all to sort it yourself. It's pretty pathetic so sort your shit out.

Cure for cancer (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645405)

Reminds me of the cancer cure for (much of) cancer [escapistmagazine.com] . This one was even on The news [youtube.com]

Re: I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642369)

Hard to figure out if you are trolling, or just that ignorant.

Re: I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642641)

Where is the presidential speech committing the nation to this goal, please? You guys got your fireworks decades ago, can we get biotech now?

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642501)

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642527)

There is such a molecule. It comes from cannabis. Unfortunately it has to be directed by awareness.

The real problem is that people are just too lazy to accomplish great things, they'd rather be handed a solution on a platter that requires no input from them.

For example, people could learn how to use their eyes properly, or they can stick with the same viewpoint, ignoring the physical world, and buy a pair of glasses that supports their inflexibility.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643063)

Ah, modded down by the ignorant who know nothing about the neuro-protective role of endo-cannabinoids nor their directed role in neurogenesis.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643613)

More likely it was modded down because it doesn't make any sense because you were high when you wrote it.

Re:I have an idea (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643631)

You got modded down I believe because you made the ridiculous assertion that there is already a cure for ALS-- legalizing marijuana! And that people just refuse to accept it. I assure you that if cannabis was the cure for ALS that so much money would not have been spent helping Hawking cope with ALS rather than just curing him.

One might ask where exactly you got your PHD, and why you havent gotten a government grant yet.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644187)

Truth always seems ridiculous to the ignorant.

Re:I have an idea (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644963)

As does ignorance to the informed.

Re:I have an idea (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645513)

Theres grant money to be had if you can show the truth of your words; that youre on slashdot rather than applying for it indicates that there is no substance behind them.

Re:I have an idea (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644727)

Ill agree with you, and look at my nick. There is much to be done in the medical world concerning marijuana. I believe it is a great medicine and has the potential to be a cure, or at least helpful for many diseases. but my hopes and thoughts are no replacement for medical research. Yes we have come a long way, and yes we can say for sure that marijuana does have medicinal value. but we are not in the clear just yet, there is a lot more to go.

Re:I have an idea (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642781)

Instead of rehashing 1970s tech, could we PLEASE start understanding how the human body works and why some bodies destroy themselves in this way? It would be FAR cooler to have a molecule that goes in there and repairs this damage. Atoms arranged THEMSELVES into working nerves once, they can do it again.

Is this too complex for us as a species? What happened to the "we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" spirit?

Hey, we didn't know that was so important to you, or of course, we would've ''got 'er done'' for you already. So, all you need is a 'magic' atom, huh? I'll get right on that for you. Figure it'll get done by Tuesday for ya'.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643265)

What is a "magic" atom, please?

Re:I have an idea (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643489)

Okay, 'Molecule' is the word the poster used. He wants a magic molecule or something that would magically fix problems in a human body. And he wants it yesterday. Modern medicine is good nowadays, but it's not 'that' good, yet. I want a flying car NOW already! Doesn't mean I'm getting what I want when I want it. That's all I was saying.

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643635)

Is this too complex for us as a species?

Yes. At the moment it is. People are working on trying to understand it, but it is so incredibly complex, much more complex than the computer you are using to post to Slashdot or putting a man on the moon or even a 1-ton nuclear powered rover on Mars.

What happened to the "we choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard" spirit?

It seems the US as a nation lost that spirit many years ago, a few individuals still have, but individuals can only do so much.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644063)

Why don't you get started on that little project in your spare time?

I would suggest that you're looking at the problem incorrectly though. The atoms did not arrange themselves into nerves, etc, all by themselves. You've simply leaped past a couple of very critical things, like viable DNA donors, cooperating to create yet more healthy, viable DNA.

Hell, if all that were required were a bunch of atoms, we could take hydrocarbons almost at random, throw them in a blender, and wait for a child to birth itself from the blender. Geeez, Louise.

Before you ask - I have little idea what is the correct way to approach the problem. I'm no biologist, not a chemist, not a physicist. About all I can say for sure is, things are a good deal more complicated than your post suggests.

Meanwhile, let's invest in nanotechnology. It seems that nano is actually starting to make progress in curing some of our (simpler) ills.

AC because it's easy, and not hard ;-) ? (1)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645685)

Somewhat ironic you choose to post a provocative style message as AC. Did you choose to do so because it was easy, and not hard? ;-)
Re: "could we please start understanding how the human body works" - I think you'll find that there are many research institutions and universities carrying out a lot of biological research. Why don't answers appear quickly? Because it's hard. A good friend has just finished his PhD studying Huntingdon's disease, he has made some valuable but incremental progress to solving genetic problems in this area. This stuff is really tough to solve...

Yay! (3, Insightful)

Shemmie (909181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642229)

He'll be able to do even more awful TV adverts for crappy insurance companies! [youtube.com]

Re:Yay! (4, Interesting)

lattyware (934246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642341)

Isn't it a little awesome that he has become a (general) idol? I mean, everyone cries out that the current celebrity culture is terrible, and yet here we have a man who is everything everyone should aspire to, despite terrible adversity, and he is in popular TV shows, doing adverts. Isn't that a good thing? I am glad that we are moving on and people who in the past would only be icons for the geeky, or those in the field can become icons for everyone, because it means we are focusing on better things in people.

Idol - no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642377)

you give people too much credit. HE's a train wreck and people like seeing the truly gifted among us cut down.

Re:Yay! (1)

Shemmie (909181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642397)

On the level you're coming at it from, it's wonderful.

I hope it's taken that way. I hope people laugh at the joke...

Re:Yay! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642829)

If he wasn't crippled, he wouldn't be an idol.

Sad but true.

Re:Yay! (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643257)

He might not be AS much of an idol, but he'd still be as big an idol as say Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Cox or Phil Plait.

Re:Yay! (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644105)

I guess his scientific output would be more but his notoriety would be less.

Re:Yay! (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644615)

> If he wasn't crippled, he wouldn't be an idol.

I respectfully disagree, at least in part. Sure, the public admires him because he absolutely refuses to give up, in spite of disease that would have made most people surrender long before now. I respect him for that.

But to be fair, Hawking had already made a name for himself long before he landed in that wheelchair -- starting with the Adams Prize for his doctoral thesis (back in 1966). He's not just winging it or banking on public sympathy. He and Roger Penrose first established mathematically that time was a property of this universe -- that "time" as we know it didn't/doesn't exist outside of this universe.

We lay-creatures tend to think only in terms of Nobel Prizes. No, Hawking has never won one. But there are plenty of other honors that, amongst physicists, carry just as much weight (if not more). Most of them you've never heard of.

If you want another great example of an absolutely outstanding physicist who has never won a Nobel, it would be Freeman Dyson. He is just as well-regarded as Hawking, and has never been near a wheelchair.

I think you (and some of the other complainers here) are way off base on this one.

Re:Yay! (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643291)

That's actually a brilliant ad.

Easily the best ad I've seen in ages, as it really takes the piss out of the company's own ads.

But... (5, Funny)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642263)

That's all well and good, but what will happen when Hawking dictates a formula that involves division?

It will work just fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642385)

as long as it isn't based on windows.

Hook him to the NSA's supercomputer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642323)

Come on IBM, why don't you hook him up to the neural interface and the supercomputer you built to run the platform????

Oh right...sorry...we all need to keep quiet that your neural research is coming from an unlawful human experiementation program.

Dicks.

Re:Hook him to the NSA's supercomputer (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642555)

Or they could get Hawking one of these. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotiv_Systems [wikipedia.org] A brain computer interface that is available to consumers already. With it they could give him a means of communication even if he loose what little control of his body he has left

Re:Hook him to the NSA's supercomputer (1)

yahwotqa (817672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645557)

They could definitely get one of those for you. You could hook it up to your spell checker, and it would hopefully figure out that when you write 'loose', you really mean 'loses'. :)

Re:Hook him to the NSA's supercomputer (1)

rikkards (98006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42645635)

You could hook it up to your Grammar checker

FTFY

it's pity (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642325)

It's pity that person that have so many interesting things to say can't communicate normally with other peoples.

There are a lot of people that speak a lot and doesn't have anything interesting to say.

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642333)

Would that brain to computer tech be useful in Stephen Hawking case? If they can use it to move a robotic arm why not word selection software?

Time to use some of the brainwave interfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642347)

Those just might actually do a good job as he should be generating rather detailed patterns.

Good for intel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642351)

Finally, they are embracing overclocking.

And (4, Funny)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642425)

Are they loading the urban dictionary?

Engineers are problem solvers (1, Informative)

servognome (738846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642427)

After meeting with Hawking, Rattner said he wondered whether his company’s processor technology could restore the scientist’s ability to communicate at five words per minute, or even increase that rate to 10.

A business person would probably have left and said, "boring conversation anyway"

Eye Tracking (4, Interesting)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642603)

A quick Youtube search turns up this example of eye-tracking tech for character input [youtube.com] . Yeah, it doesn't look to be much faster than Intel's proposed 10 words per minute but that clip is 5 years old and I'm sure it could be improved upon in a number of ways (instead of having to 'hover' over a key for couple seconds for it to confirm, maybe a twitch could be used instead).

Only the other day we saw a demonstration of eye tracking being used with the Windows 8 interface. Something like that would allow him to browse the web, email, take notes, etc.

Re:Eye Tracking (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642631)

Oh, and add decent predictive text like modern smartphone soft-keyboards have too. I think I remember reading that his current system has some form of predictive text but I'm guessing it's pretty dated.

Re:Eye Tracking (1)

vuo (156163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643271)

There is also the option of using Dasher. [cam.ac.uk] You only need four controls: up, down and forward and back. The program shows a tree of the possible options, emphasizing more frequent words. You can write "the" by just looking at "t" and then at the "h e" that appear. This is pretty intuitive with eye-tracking, more so than a keyboard.

Re:Eye Tracking (1)

mdielmann (514750) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643791)

Something like that would allow him to browse the web, email, take notes, etc.

For the love of god, keep Hawking off the web. It seems we have one great mind left that's exploring how the world works, and you want to sidetrack him with lolcats?!?!

Yes, I'm joking.

Re:Eye Tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644429)

Think Swype for Kinect :-)

Big corporate helping handicapped man? (1, Funny)

FreeTherapy (2768701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42642713)

Intel is not evil after all!

Now I will buy all their shit.

Re:Big corporate helping handicapped man? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642859)

For all we know it was chemicals they dumped that put him in the chair in the first place.

Re:Big corporate helping handicapped man? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42642949)

For all we know...

Stephen Hawking diagnosed - 1963
Intel founded - 1968

Seems unlikely.

We all know where this is headed... (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42643279)

Wiki [wikipedia.org]
Images [google.com]

If nothing else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42643925)

If nothing else, designing better communication interfaces to people like Stephen Hawking, will give better communication interfaces to everyone else who is in a position like Stephen Hawking. Neural interfaces where you just think the word and it appears on screen or sounds as speech. You might be trapped in your body, but there is no reason why you can't still communicate with the outside world, and no reason why they can't communicate with you.

YUO FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644299)

4paper towels,

no disrespect to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42644749)

No disrespect to Stephen Hawking. His a brilliant man, who has overcome lot in his life-time against the odds.

But for some reason this movie quote comes to mind... :)
Donkey: Hi, Princess!
Princess Fiona: It talks!
Shrek: Yeah, it's getting him to shut up that's the trick!

That's great, but... (1)

proca (2678743) | about a year and a half ago | (#42644817)

I'm glad they can increase Hawking's speech rate by an order of magnitude, but that's a lot of work to accommodate people like Hawking: those with ALS that live more than 10 years. I think only 1% of ALS patients live past 10 years. Hawking has lived 50+ years with ALS, which makes him an incredibly rare case.

Samsung swype (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42645185)

I used the Swype keyboard on a Samsung phone for the first time the other day (English is not my main language on the thing). Pretty stunning. I'm also amazed by how good text to speech has become (same phone). I'm sure newer versions have improved on this in the last year too. All that remains is to replace the touch-sensitive screen with some eye tracking tech (or similar, if he can't move his gaze any more), but that's been done yonks ago aready.

just saying.

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