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Communications of the ACM


Code Talkers

Code Talkers, illustration

Credit: Andrii Symonenko

When Tavis Rudd decided to build a system that would allow him to write computer code using his voice, he was driven by necessity.

In 2010, he tore his rotator cuffwhile rock-climbing, forcing him to quit climbing while the injury healed. Rather than sitting idle, he poured more of his energy into his work as a self-employed computer programmer. "I'd get in the zone and just go for hours," he says. Whether it was the increased time pounding away at a keyboard or the lack of other exercise, Rudd eventually developed a repetitive strain injury (RSI) that caused his outer fingers to go numb and cold, leaving him unable to type/code without pain.


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