#Intel #OpenSources Software behind #StephenHawkings Speech System
Stephen Hawking, who is probably one of the best scientific minds of our time, was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21. This slowly paralyzed him and eventually took his ability to talk, but with the help of a unique speech system, he found his voice again.
In 1997, Intel designed a unique speech system that allows Hawking to communicate with the world. In 2004, text-to-speech functionality provided by NeoSpeech gave him his iconic voice.
Intel has announced the release Stephen Hawking’s speech system as open source, encouraging innovation and improvements that could open up the technology to people with physical disabilities throughout the world.
The speech system was closed source and proprietary licensed, which meant that only Intel engineers could work on improvements. Everyone else who wanted to improve the technology had to build their own system from scratch—until now. Last year, Intel announced plans to open source all code for Hawking’s speech system. The company released it on GitHub earlier this year under the Apache License, version 2.0.
Github repo: https://github.com/01org/acat
Project site: https://01.org/acat
Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) is an open source platform developed at Intel Labs to enable people with motor neuron diseases and other disabilities to have full access to the capabilities and applications of their computers through very constrained interfaces suitable for their condition. More specifically, ACAT enables users to easily communicate with others through keyboard simulation, word prediction and speech synthesis. Users can perform a range of tasks such as editing, managing documents, navigating the Web and accessing emails.
Prior to the release of this technology as open source, any engineer outside of Intel would have had to design the entire speech system from scratch just to make one small improvement. Now, with all of Intel’s hard work out in the open, it is easy for anyone to build on top of the technology that has already been designed.
Source: Intel open sources Stephen Hawking’s speech system | Opensource.com