Dell and Intel recognized for technology that digitally preserves voice

In difficult times, technology is not always helpful. Its speed and omnipresence can sometimes even amplify difficulties and harm human relations.

It is perhaps worth dwelling for a moment on a technology that has benefited everyone. Last week, thousands of people gathered in the South of France for the Cannes Lions festival.

The international festival of creativity, which brings together advertising agencies and public relations managers, rewarded an unexpected duo this year. You might not think Dell and Intel are bastions of creativity. Yet the two companies collaborated to create a short story that people with motor neuron disease could read before their voices died out. By reading it, their voice would be copied more quickly, in order to have a signal from themselves when their vocal cords no longer work.

Voice bank

Motor neuron disease is ruthless. One of the first things people with this brain and nerve disease lose is their voice, such a vital part of who they are.

Yes, they can try to preserve it digitally – the process is called “voice banking”. But it’s slow. It can take months.

Instead of three months of work, the new technology from Dell and Intel requires only 20 minutes of reading. This idea won the Grand Prix in the Pharma category at Cannes. More importantly, whereas previously only 12% of people with motor neuron disease banked their voices, 72% of newly diagnosed people did.

In a world where there are too many useless or harmful technologies, it is comforting to remember that they can really help those who are suffering, even though most never will.


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