Thursday, 15 March 2018

How Apple put the voice to Stephen Hawking

As you know, today the world has awakened with the sad news about the death of Professor Stephen Hawking at 76 years of age. He has undoubtedly been one of the most important physicists in the history of humanity and a scientist who, despite all the obstacles, has managed to surprise the world with his theories.

Tim Cook wanted to pay tribute to Stephen Hawking in a tweet that he recently published on Twitter in which he highlights one of his most famous quotes: "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge." He added that we will always be inspired by his life and ideas.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." -Stephen Hawking. We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP
    - Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 14, 2018

It is not a great surprise to think that Stephen Hawking has inspired many Apple employees. As it has done with the rest of people around the planet. But Stephen Hawking had a very deep and interesting connection with Apple ... it was a product of the apple company that gave the physicist the ability to communicate verbally through the use of technology.

The Apple II gave a synthesized voice to Stephen Hawking

Between 1960 and 1970, Stephen Hawking was losing his physical abilities little by little. At first, he was able to speak and communicate verbally enough for his friends and family to understand him. But, finally, in 1985 he completely lost the ability to speak.

For a while, Professor Hawking was communicating by means of gestures like raising his eyebrows to indicate each letter. But in the end he wanted to use technology to have the opportunity to express himself.

A year before, in 1985, another of the great minds of the 20th and 21st centuries presented the Macintosh. Steve Jobs presented a demonstration in which the Mac introduced itself (minute 3:33 of the video) using a synthesized voice. For the first time in the history of mankind, a computer spoke for someone, and this fell deeply in the consciousness of society at that time.

That same year, an engineer named Dennis Klatt created a synthesized voice for Stephen Hawking to use through a program called "Equalizer and Speech Synthesizer" . Thanks to this software , Stephen Hawking was able to select words using his gaze on a screen.

The most curious thing of all, is that Stephen Hawking executed this program on an Apple II, although he later switched to other computers. Yes, today is a very sad day for the world of science and physics ... but also for the world of technology. D.E.P.

Via | Cult of Mac 

No comments:

Post a Comment