back to article Legendary Brit physicist Stephen Hawking gets full Intel comms refresh

Pioneering physicist Stephen Hawking has received a replacement communication system following a three-year project with Intel to overhaul his previous 20-year-old comms platform. The refit occurred following a rapid deterioration in Hawking's word-per-minute rate, which dropped from a 20wpm rate 10 years ago to just under …

  1. Adolph Clickbait

    Intel inside?

    Now plastered on his chair?

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: Intel inside?

      He's had intel stickers on his chair for a long time

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Stephen Hawking's chair

        My coworker bought himself a really fancy and complicated office chair. It has all sorts of levers and dials sticking out, significantly more than the usual three or four. He thought it was 'neat' and 'cool', and well as being comfortable.

        I pointed out that he now "looked a bit like Stephen Hawking", due to the complexity of his chair. Frankly, his chair looks like a Medical Appliance, perhaps with bags of bodily fluids hanging underneath. We've contemplated adding an IV drip stand to his chair.

        Oh well, at least his chair is still comfortable. 'Neat' and 'cool' are out the window.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stephen Hawking's chair

          Cool story...

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Intel inside?

      Is it driven by Windows 8 or 8.1? It certainly will not be Apple as Isaac Newton collared that particular nomenclature.

      1. Sheep!

        Re: Intel inside?

        "What operating system are you using?"

        "Windows Vista"

        "We're all going to die!"

  2. Anonymous Coward

    All we need to do...

    Is make sure he keeps talking...

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: All we need to do...

      As long as it isn't bollocks about AI being the end of mankind.

      1. JeffyPoooh

        Re: All we need to do...

        "...make sure he keeps talking..." "...bollocks about AI being the end of mankind."

        How do we know it's actually him that is talking? Maybe this evil-AI thing has already started?

        Maybe this warning about evil-AI, strangely coincident with the new Intel kit, is actually some sort of incomprehensible 'Art of War' misinformation campaign to cause us to take actions aligned with their goal.

  3. Marcus Aurelius

    The main question is

    ...what will Stephen Hawking be the projenitor of? The Borg, Daleks, or Cybermen?

    1. Slacker@work

      Re: The main question is

      Daleks obviously!!

      We were discussing at work just yesterday what a great time you could have uploading voice packs to Prof. Hawking - y'know like you can on TomTom... Imagine him with Brian Blessed!!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: The main question is


      2. CaptainBanjax

        Re: The main question is

        Brian Blessed would be cool...but Matt Berry would be 100x funnier with his Garth Marenghi's Dark Place character programmed in.

        Dr Sanchez Hawking

    2. NP-Hardass

      Re: The main question is

      Dalek!! Definitively!

      There is a cute scene in the new movie "The Theory of Everything" after he gets his voice box, he rides around the house with a box on his head, having the machine say "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

    3. bpfh

      Re: The main question is


  4. Tapeador
    Thumb Up


    on Android is the main reason I couldn't ditch my Moto G for a coveted Nokia 1020. RSI. Swiftkey saves me quite a lot of typing/swyping by giving me that AND next-word options which are genuinely peculiar to my usage patterns. It's genuinely better than its competitors. If you don't have a disability giving you difficulty typing, you may not worry about this kind of thing.

  5. Daz555

    From 20wpm down to 1wpm and now back up to just 2wpm? Wow I had no idea his ability to communicate had fallen so drastically. What a tragedy.

  6. Chris G Silver badge


    It's a shame DARPA has not perfected the research into Real Time brain reading and their exoskeletons. Imagine Steven Hawking with the ability to move and speak at will without the painfully slow process he has to endure now.

    The Hawkinator!

  7. Dr. G. Freeman

    What if Prof Hawking has come up with the theory of everything but can't find the words to describe it ?

    No way am I comparable the great man, but sometimes I'll get a picture in my head of something I'm working on, but no be able to describe it words (chemical structures and the like), maybe it's the same for him in some way - like a Feynman diagram.

  8. Ken 16

    "Intel integrated technology British predictive text company SwiftKey"?

    I'm sure the man himself would have expressed the message more clearly and succinctly.

    I'm still circling the sentence without divining meaning.

    "Intel integrated technology British predictive text company SwiftKey, which contacted the chip giant after reading about its plans to develop the new system. "

    Is integrated the verb there?

    1. Brian Morrison

      Re: "Intel integrated technology British predictive text company SwiftKey"?

      The article includes the missing "from" that comes after technology, perhaps El Reg have edited it since your comment but in any case it now makes sense to me.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Welcome, to ROBOT WARS!"

    As a guest, not a combatant, obviously.......although i reckon he could take Sgt Bash.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zero Day Exploit!!!!

    Do you think that the Fundamentalist Christians could 'Hack' Hawking now he's had his 'Upgrade' and remotely commandeer his voice synthersizer in the middle of a press briefing and get him to say that he was wrong, there was no 'Big Bang' and that the Earth is only five thousand years old and Fossils aren't real but a test from God?

    I shall keep a lookout!

    1. Canecutter

      Re: Zero Day Exploit!!!!

      Now, now, now. Don't you go putting ideas in their heads. Bad boy!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Yanks...

    No one in Britain could do this for him? What an embarassment.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Bloody Yanks...

      "No one in Britain could do this for him? What an embar[r]assment."

      "Intel integrated technology from British predictive text company SwiftKey, which contacted the chip giant after reading about its plans to develop the new system."

  12. Old Handle

    I hadn't realized he was that bad off. I thought he could still click a little button or something. I wonder if it's realistic to hope some kind of practical brain-based interface will become available in his lifetime. Still, doubling his WPM is an achievement. Good show, Intel.

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    He's remarkable in other ways.

    People with his disease don't usually get past their middle 20s.

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: He's remarkable in other ways.

      I blame those NHS death panels, that leave disabled people on mountainsides, to be devoured by wolves.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Lamont Cranston Re: He's remarkable in other ways.

        "I blame those NHS death panels, that leave disabled people on mountainsides, to be devoured by wolves." Uncorroborated story that did the rounds - a certain British TV celeb/survivalist was once asked whIch scientist would he like to take with him on an Arctic expedition, and replied Stephen Hawking. When asked if that was because of the interesting conversations and insight Hawking could supply, the celeb said it was because, in the event of a polar bear attack, you only need to run faster than the slowest guy in the group.....

  14. Matt Bryant Silver badge


    I really hope the Intel package includes some GPS tech that stops the legendary British physicist and notorious hypocrite ( communicating when he next takes a trip to Iran or China (

    1. Shannon Jacobs

      Re: Hmmm.

      Because he thinks better than trolls like you.

      Now is there a filter on Reg to make the troll go away?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Shannon Jacobs Re: Hmmm.

        "Because he thinks better than trolls like you....." If you really think that then please do explain how noble you think it is of Hawking to support a country that stones raped women and persecutes homosexuals, or justify the oppression of Tibet. Yeah, I just bet you can answer that - not!

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Ignorant and Intolerant Main Stream Media Provides Perfect Protective Cover ....

    .... for/to SMARTR IntelAIgent Nodes exercising and trailing and trialing Prize Succouring Enterprise Mogul Models/Modules/Prime Premium PrograMMING* Projects

    Of course, what Stephen Hawking is not equipped and/or disinclined and unable to tell y'all, and boy, is that a fundamental root game changer that destroys ponzi market places and attendant creative controlling commodity exchanges, is that humanity is a past its sell by date AI program and failed Great Game of Ye Global Operating Devices. IT is now in the process of clearing the board and all key instrumental fields for a totally different game with novel unconventional and noble irregular players leading events to horizons with exploration and exploitation of zeroday vulnerabilities in/with Advanced IntelAIgent Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition of Systems for Prime Premium Projects in *Mined Mind Information Networking Gamesplay.

    Deny such if you will and can, but be assured that IT does not alter nor dissuade and divert the AIReality of a Virtualised Future Existence with the Active Persistent Present Singularity of Creative Command and Cyber Control of Communicating Computers delivering Titanic Market Value to Enterprising Ventures which Realise Dream Opportunities ....... and which on the dark flip side of the same COIN program, can Marshall Nightmare Scenarios too for similar outrageous excessive exclusive advantage.

    Now having shared all of that, is that exactly what Stephen Hawking was telling y'all, but the new model machine did not compute and verbalise it at all well and mostly badly?

    1. Jedit

      Re: Ignorant and Intolerant Main Stream Media Provides Perfect Protective Cover ....

      I heard Stephen Hawking lecture while he was still barely able to speak for himself. He was more easily understood than your post.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Ignorant and Intolerant Main Stream Media Provides Perfect Protective Cover ....

        Complicated subject matters are not so easily explained in simple lay terms for the less than well enough informed and educated, Jedit. And some things can be too dangerous to idly reveal and expect not to be misused and abused, and thus can there be decidedly intelligently designed gaps in certain streams of information and intelligence and consciousness.

        One wouldn't want to thought and held responsible for anything unnecessarily unpleasant, would one, for surely that would be quite evil and have one creating for oneself enemies and opposition and competition, which is certainly not at all smart and nonsensical.

        1. Jedit

          "Complicated subject matters are not so easily explained in simple lay terms"

          Verbosity and intelligence are not interchangeable. Abusing a thesaurus to cover up the intellectual void behind your words is the cheapest trick of the demagogue. Your first paragraph, for example, boils down to:

          "I want to imply that I'm saying something clever and you don't understand it because you're stupid. Also I don't want you to actually understand what I'm saying, so I'm using big words to make you think it's important."

      2. Peter Simpson 1

        Re: Ignorant and Intolerant Main Stream Media Provides Perfect Protective Cover ....

        ... more easily understood than your post.

        You must be new here :-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Reminds me of an oldie but a goodie...

    What does Stephen Hawking say when his computer crashes?

    Fuckin' nothing!!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. BSOD


    On the flip side, in the event of the Machine Uprising at least Hawking will have the satisfaction of saying "I ... *TOLD*...YOU...SO... ... .... ! "

    Here's hoping that the AI takes pity on him and uploads Hawking.

  18. psychonaut

    next word predictive text

    i find this useful on my phone, but ive wondered how much it makes me express myself in a much more defined and narrow manner than i otherwise would. it sort of distills your language. im waiting for the day when it just writes my texts for me as soon as i open it.

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