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Stephen Hawking looks for help to make his voice heard

Stephen Hawking is searching for a computer-literate assistant. Picture: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

Stephen Hawking is searching for a computer-literate assistant. Picture: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

BRITISH physicist Stephen Hawking is seeking an assistant to help develop and maintain the electronic speech system that allows him to communicate his vision of the universe.

An informal job ad posted on his website said the assistant should be computer literate, ready to travel, and able to repair electronic devices “with no instruction manual or technical support”.

Hawking has long struggled against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that left him almost completely paralysed.

He lost his voice in a tracheotomy in 1985, but a wheelchair-mounted computer helps synthesise speech by interpreting the twitches of his face. The synthesiser’s robotic monotone has become nearly as famous as Hawking himself. His website says the job’s salary is expected to be about £25,000 a year.

 

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