Having trouble telling your dog what a good boy it is or telling your cat not to wake you up in the middle of the night? You might be able to do that, thanks to a crackerjack team of scientists from the Northern Arizona University who managed to teach an AI how to translate bark sounds to English.
Machine Learning Helps Translate Bark Sounds to Human Language
Perhaps one of the most astounding technological breakthroughs of the 21st century is machine learning with applications that span across various domains. Using this cutting-edge technology, a team of scientists from the Northern Arizona University has managed to bridge the communicational gap between humans and animals.
Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, the project’s leading researcher, has spent 30 years studying animal communication patterns, especially prairie dogs. During his research, Dr. Slobodchikoff has discovered that prairie dogs have a rather communication system consisting of high-pitched vocalizations.
According to the scientist’s observations, the prairie dogs can modulate their pitch in order to convey various messages to other pack members like warning them of an impending predatorial attack or signaling them on the presence of a human among them.
Slobodchikoff went as far as saying that prairie dogs can communicate among them physical traits observed in humans, such as the colors of the clothes they’re wearing.
Using 30 years’ worth of research data, Slobodchikoff and his colleagues managed to instruct an AI on how to interpret prairie dogs’ vocalizations and various body cues and to translate them into an easily recognizable form.
Basically, the AI translates bark sounds into English, thus facilitating the conversation between us and our bow-wow buds. Slobodchikoff is so Gung-ho about this project that they’ve decided to open up a company called Zoolingua which, in theory, should supply customers with the necessary apps to translate bark sounds to English.
If successful, this app will be able to translate both bow-wows and meows to something more humanlike.
Image source: Max Pixel