Artificial Intelligence Will Help Us Communicate With Animals

Blond happy girl with her chihuahua doggy portrait lying on lawn

Many pet owners consider their animals to be a member of the family much like a son or daughter. But what if we could take our relationships a step further by using technology to communicate with animals? This may soon become a reality as scientists implement artificial intelligence to decode the disparate dialects of our zoological friends.

Communicating with Animals

There have been attempts in the past to create translation devices that can interpret animal sounds and their meaning. Some of these attempts have utterly failed or simply mimic animal sounds, while others have had slightly more success, translating a few sounds that refer to mundane concepts like food. Though some of these endeavors have been exciting or novel at first, they haven’t reached the ability to truly translate what’s going on inside those furry noggins in real-time – at least not yet.

While much of this technology is being used to study animals in the wild, someday soon it may be parlayed into a device for consumers to talk to your dog or cat. Finally, you’ll be able to express to Fido just how much he means to you, or really show your disappointment when he pees on the rug.

The man who is most often touted as leading the charge in decoding bestial lingo is Dr. Constantine Slobodchikoff, the real-life Dr. Doolittle. Slobodchikoff is an expert in animal language and while studying prairie dogs, he learned that the animals use advanced verbal communication to warn each other of predators.

 

Three playing prairie dogs

 

Prairie dogs are able to identify and communicate characteristics about perceived threats such as a predator’s height, weight, size, and color. They use a number of different phonemes to distinguish physical traits and can even remember certain characteristics from the past. Not only do these animals use verbs and nouns, but they consider syntax when gossiping with each other. Maybe that little guy was calling to his friend Allen… or was it Steve?

Slobodchikoff was able to catalog these sounds in order to synthesize their language into English. He’s using artificial intelligence to maintain and develop this catalog, allowing the computer to learn on its own in order to translate the animal jargon to a greater extent.

But Slobodchikoff says that a bias exists among biologists and linguists, with some believing that animals are only able to communicate, they can’t really express emotions or have conversations that aren’t founded solely on instinct. Though most pet owners would hotly contest this if you asked them if their pet has feelings or a personality.

 

Curious puppy lying on the floor and looking at laptop

 

Among the scientific consensus in this field, there isn’t a universal agreement on a common level of consciousness across all species, but scientists studying the gorilla, Koko, have proven that apes are more than capable of thought and feeling. Koko has over 2,000 English words in her vernacular and has expressed emotions, including embarrassment and happiness.

 

Researchers Learn How to Talk to Animals

The first effective animal translator was the Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry, or CHAT, translator. A team of scientists studying a particular group of dolphins decoded whistles and their meanings. One day while swimming with the pod, the CHAT translated one dolphin’s whistle to the word sargassum, a type of seaweed.

Dolphins are some of the most intriguing animals for scientists to study, as they are considered to be the second most intelligent animal on Earth next to humans. Scientists have conducted profound studies of porpoises, with one scientist even developing a romantic relationship with the dolphin she was studying. Another project resulted in evidence that dolphins are capable of creating their own distinct culture.

One group of dolphins was observed wearing sea sponges on their beaks to protect themselves from sharp rocks and coral when hunting for fish on the sea floor. But not all dolphins show this behavior when its easier to find fish in open water. The dolphins that do use sponges pass down the technique to their children and typically associate more with other sponge-wearing fashionistas, showing evidence of cultural dissemination. If dolphins exhibit this level of intelligence, what more could we learn from the further development of CHAT?

In Sweden, a company called Gavagai AB is developing a program using AI analysis software to decipher dolphin-speak. The program has already mastered 40 human languages.

Gavagai’s software for decoding human language is currently used to glean information about the type of emotion a speaker is exuding, and companies interested in this utility believe that decoding dolphin will further that capability.

 

Head of dolphin with an open mouth in the blue water

 

This same technology is being used in translating the tongues of other animals, including rhesus macaques and white-cheeked gibbons. So far, it has recorded subtleties distinguishing hundreds of different gibbon calls. These animals make “hoo” sounds that have different patterns and intonations tied to different concepts and words. Scientists then feed these to a computer that maps out their meaning and context.

With Google Translate’s artificial intelligence system, human languages are being learned and translated at an exponential rate. It was recently noticed that the technology was showing improvements overnight that would trump the advancements it had made over its entire lifetime. When this type of technology is applied to translators aimed at animal language, scientists like Slobodchikoff believe it will lead to a pet translator on the market within the next decade. Are you ready to converse with your pet?



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The Mystery of Torsion Fields

Russian scientist Nikolai Kozyrev was considered a prodigy. In 1925, at age 17, he published his first scientific paper, which focused on astrophysics and the atmosphere of the sun and other stars. It was met with great acclaim by other scientists.

At age 20, he graduated from the University of Leningrad with degrees in physics and mathematics. By age 28, he was a college professor and distinguished astronomer. To the science community at large, this promising young physicist disappeared for the next 11 years.

Nikolai Kozyrev: Russian Concentration Camps

While Korzyrev was enjoying a successful career as a professor and researcher, Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, was feeling threatened by scientists whom he perceived were independent thinkers. He was concerned they would see through his propaganda program. To prevent this, in 1936, he arrested them and sent them to concentration camps. Nikolai Kozyrev was among those imprisoned. There wasn’t much for him to do during the long 11 years he spent in the camps except to observe, meditate, and think.

During his imprisonment, Kozyrev was enthralled watching bacteria grow and noticed it grew in a perfect spiral. This led him to conclude that all life-forms likely draw off of an unseen spiraling source of energy. This energy is as important to maintenance and growth of life as are “eating, drinking, breathing, and photosynthesis.”

Kozyrev also concluded that this spiraling energy and growth is how time works, with the Earth orbiting in space by way of a “complex spiraling pattern.”

As the Earth rotates on its axis as it orbits the sun, it releases energy, or torsion waves, that propel it through space. The torsion waves travel at speeds faster than the speed of light. These torsion fields are actually “waves of time” which also cause ripples in gravity. Indeed, some scientists now believe that “electromagnetism, gravity and torsion waves are all members of the same family; they are just different forms of ether vibrations.”

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