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Professor Stephen Hawking attends the gala screening of "Hawking" on the opening night of the Cambridge Film Festival held at Emmanuel College on September 19, 2013 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.
Karwai Tang—Getty Images

Intel has released the software Stephen Hawking uses to communicate available for free online.

The famed author and physicists relies on the technology to speak, as well as perform other basic functions like browsing the internet. Hawking, 73, suffers from motor neuron disease, or Leu Gehrig’s disease, which has left him almost entirely paralyzed.

Intel hopes that it can assist others with similar disabilities. Code for the software, called Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT), is available to developers for free. By open sourcing the program, Intel believes developers will innovate and expand on the base system.

Hawking got an upgrade from the computing giant last year, increasing the efficiency of his system. ACAT’s upgrade works much like the predictive type features on an iPhone, allowing the software to guess what Hawking is trying to say based on what he’s already typed.



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