Stephen Hawking is hiring help for voice

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LONDON -- 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."

He lost his real voice in a tracheotomy in 1985, but a wheelchair-mounted computer helps synthesize speech by interpreting the twitches of his face.

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?" "If your answer is 'yes,' we'd like to hear from you!" the website says. -- AP

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