Can you help make Stephen Hawking’s voice heard? The famed British physicist 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 to the famed physicist’s website said the assistant should be computer literate, ready to travel, and able to repair electronic devices “with no instruction manual or technical support.”
The synthesizer’s robotic monotone has become nearly as famous as Hawking himself, but the computer — powered by batteries fastened to the back of Hawking’s wheelchair — isn’t just for speaking.
It can connect to the Internet over cell phone networks and a universal infrared remote enables the physicist to switch on the lights, watch television, or open doors either at home or at the office.
It’s a complicated, tailor-made system, as the ad makes clear. A photograph of the back of Hawking’s wheelchair, loaded with coiled wires and electronic equipment, is pictured under the words: “Could you maintain this?”