Check out Dennis H. Klatt, a computer scientist who programmed Stephen Hawking’s voice box. He tirelessly worked on the code while undergoing treatment for cancer, which eventually took his own voice, and his life. Hawking never changed his voice program, saying, “My friend Dennis’ voice is my voice”

Dennis H. Klatt

Dennis H. Klatt

Dennis H. Klatt (March 31, 1938 – December 30, 1988) was a noted American researcher in speech and hearing science. Klatt was the pioneer of computerized speech synthesis and created an interface which allowed for speech for non-expert users for the first time. Prior to his work, non-verbal individuals would need specialist support to be able to speak at all. The DECtalk speech synthesizer, best known as Stephen Hawking’s voice, was based on Klatt’s own voice.

Klatt was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 31, 1938. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1960 and 1961, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in communication sciences from the U… Continue Reading