In a groundbreaking initiative, DXC Technology is partnering with The Scott Morgan Foundation to apply advanced technologies to help people overcome extreme physical disabilities and other life-challenging conditions.
The Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan story
In 2017, Dr Peter Scott-Morgan — a visionary roboticist, author, and speaker — was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND). This degenerative illness would eventually leave Peter completely paralyzed. But rather than just survive, Peter has chosen to fight back with technology and become Peter 2.0 - what people around the globe are calling the “world’s first human cyborg.”
DXC has joined Peter, his philanthropic foundation, and other partners, to develop ambitious assistive technologies to empower people with disabilities, illnesses, and other life-challenging conditions to lead full and socially rich lives.
“The bedrock of our collaboration is a belief in the untapped potential of technology to unleash your dreams - whatever you are, whatever your background, whatever your circumstances, whatever your ambitions. Our mantra is: ‘Add HOPE with AI and Robotics!’”
Dr. Peter Scott-Morgan
The Peter Scott-Morgan Foundation:
Creating new future with DXC
DXC is committed to improving the environments in which we live and work and runs the mission critical systems at the intersection of people and technology. Against this backdrop, DXC has joined The Scott-Morgan Foundation and is leading the technology roadmap and integration. Its role is to bring all the unique pieces of hardware, software, and AI into an integrated working solution designed to aid communication and mobility. The vision is to not only collaborate with Peter, but to create an open and scalable set of technologies that could one day help others around the world overcome life-challenging conditions.
For example, DXC’s engineers are working alongside experts from Lenovo, Intel and CereProc to create a digital avatar that Peter plans to use on video calls and in public speeches to help him communicate. Eye-controlled and using a synthesized version of his voice, the avatar has become vital for Peter after he lost his own biological voice due to a surgical procedure he had to undergo to keep him breathing.
In a similar way to how text prediction systems work, the next iteration of Peter’s digital avatar will include a response prediction system, which learns from his previous interactions to offer him a selection of proposed responses. Peter will be able to select the most appropriate response and tweak it according to his situation, significantly improving his verbal spontaneity.
In the field of mobility, DXC is helping to integrate Scott-Morgan’s AI to control his specialized robotic wheelchair. Scott-Morgan’s CHARLIE (Cyborg Harness And Robotic Life-Improving Exoskeleton) “is a sophisticated wheelchair that can stand upright, lie flat and rise,” tweeted Peter.
“Peter is an astonishing inspiration. The DXC team will provide consulting and support to define requirements, target architecture, and the technology roadmap. Specifically, they will enable the functions for eye tracking, virtual keyboards, speech, and avatar performance. Peter, with the Foundation, has a tireless passion to challenge our thinking on how technology can be used to enhance people’s lives and society.”
President, EMEA, DXC Technology
Dr Peter Scott-Morgan with Steve Nicklin, Account Chief Technologist at DXC Technology
Key initiatives include:
- Developing autonomous, self-driving wheelchairs to navigate homes and beyond;
- Preserving personality with an avatar that renders quickly in photo-realistic detail;
- Using robotics and human-machine systems to enhance interaction with the physical world;
- Leveraging augmented reality (AR) as a user interface controlled by eye movements;
- Accelerating the generation and customization of emotionally expressive digital voices; and
- Embedding smart technology throughout a family home to enhance the life of all its occupants.
Where it all started
Peter is a recognized pioneer in pushing technology to extend and enrich lives. Following his diagnosis of MND in 2017, Peter began exploring ways to upend the typical disease progression through his belief in the limitless potential of technology.
DXC hosted a work-a-thon in late 2019, at its London Innovation Center, bringing together world-class partners to lay the foundations for a cutting-edge AI system. Since then, DXC has been working closely with The Foundation and its partner organizations on several pioneering workstreams including Verbal Spontaneity, Personality Retention, Robotic Mobility and Human-Centric AI.
In addition, DXC helped to create “Cyborg Artist” software which uses AI to enable Peter to express his artistic sensibility and create original works of art.