Sunday, August 14

Can AI help us communicate with whales? | Digital Trends Spanish

A team of scientists develops an ambitious project that aims to allow communication between humans and whales.

For this, the Cetacean Translation Initiative (CETI project) uses artificial intelligence (AI) to understand the language of whales.

Specifically, the team wants to decipher the clicks that sperm whales use to communicate with each other, known as “codas.”

How will they do it?

To carry out this task, the scientists want to take advantage of natural language processing (NLP), which is defined as a subfield of AI that focuses on the processing of written and spoken language.

Researchers have already applied sperm whale codas recordings to an NLP algorithm. They believe the results are “promising.”

“They seemed to work very well, at least with some relatively simple tasks,” Michael Bronstein, head of machine learning for the CETI project, said of the codas.

Now, the first goal of the project is to collect 4 billion codas of sperm whales. For this, the team wants to take advantage of a previous work that collected about 400,000 of these sounds.


Another challenge will be to contextualize these calls, since words without context do not offer any kind of meaning. This could take years of research into the natural habitats of whales.

In any case, and despite the difficulties, those in charge are optimistic and believe that it will be possible to develop a language model that allows communication in the language of the whales, which could alter the way in which humans relate to nature.

“If we discover that there is an entire civilization right under our noses, there may be a change in the way we treat our environment. And perhaps it will lead to greater respect for the living world, ”the authors add.

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