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How Can AI Be Helpful in Unlocking Animal Communication?

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AI can help optimistically help in decoding animal language in the near future

Did you know Regent Honeyeaters of Australasia are actually forgetting how to talk? This song bird’s habitat has been so badly affected that its numbers are slowly going down. And the worst scenario is that the adult population of these birds is scattered so far that they cannot teach the younger birds how to sing for a mate and this means they cannot even speak their own language. Isn’t it heart-wrenching? Let’s know what AI can do to help unlock animal communication in this article.

Now you know why there is a gradual loss of the Honeyeater song right! As their primary tool to woo their partners is through singing. This is the main reason for the decline in the bird count. It is estimated that the total number of languages in use today is about 7,000. When talking about only the US, nearly 25 percent of the people claim they can converse in a second language. And in Europe, this number floats about 60 percent. In Asia or Africa, bilingualism is even more popularly seen as local tongues and regional dialects live alongside the official languages.

 

AI and Animal Language?

Do most people wonder if animals have any language at all or not? But if yes then understanding animals is a tough thing to crack. But the good news is that AI might help us in translating animal communication in the coming decades. But it won’t be the Babelfish device that we all might actually expect.

Now, are you thinking of all the documentaries and movies where the animals actually talk? By the way, animals understanding our language up to a certain extent is due to their cognitive ability. But when we take human language, it is all in a sequential manner, on the other side deciding what an animal language might look like is a difficult task.

When we take a look at the long study of calls of prairie dogs, it suggests that they can demonstrate something that can actually look like a vocabulary. There are many such experiments that are being conducted to understand animal communication across the globe.

 

What can AI do about it?

AI has been doing a great job with regard to deciphering ancient human languages. As communication is not only about words but a lot more about tone, timing, context, and facial expressions too. And AI can add value in helping researchers with trying to decode animal communication.

Let me also take you through a few of the studies to understand them better. In 2017, scientists were successfully able to identify a number of diverse Marmoset calls with nearly 90 percent accuracy. And in the same year, another team of scientists was also able to identify when a sheep is in distress based on feeding an AI image of their facial expressions alone. Isn’t it interesting?

AI can surely become a great tool in animal husbandry whether it be as part of research or industrial levels.  And also, to decode animal communication at least to an extent in the near future optimistically.

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