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HAWKING DOES LIKE TALKING BUT NOT COMPUTER’S VOICE

SHARE HAWKING DOES LIKE TALKING BUT NOT COMPUTER’S VOICE

Don't get Stephen Hawking wrong. He's grateful that a computer allows him to talk.

The renowned physicist just doesn't want his lectures about the cosmos to sound like a tour at Disney World.Hawking, who wrote "A Brief History of Time," has Lou Gehrig's disease and uses a wheelchair and a voice synthesizer.

"Technology has transformed the outlook of the disabled," Hawking told about 400 people at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tuesday.

However, speech synthesizers can translate just 40 to 60 words per minute, while normal speech involves 120 to 180 words per minute. The machines have a peculiar accent, too.

"The disabled," he joked, "want not only to be understood, but not to sound like Mickey Mouse."