As ALS is a progressively degenerative disease, Hawking's ability to communicate is decreasing. Predictive input will become more of a necessity as the disease advances. Before 2008, Hawking could type 15 words a minute, using a thumb clicker. Now, at 78, he is too weak to use it. What Intel and Hawking hope, however, is that the new system will help Hawking communicate for as long as he can.
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