Babel Fish

Selby
May 15th 2011

Researchers are working on a language and a device that will help humans and dolphins talk with each other.

Denise Herzing, a researcher and founder of the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Florida aims to meet the mammals in the middle, creating a new language that both humans and dolphins can understand.

Herzing is  collaborating with Thad Starner, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, on a project named Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT). They want to work with dolphins to "co-create" a language that uses features of sounds that wild dolphins communicate with naturally.

To record, interpret and respond to dolphin sounds, Starner and his students are building a prototype device featuring a smartphone-sized computer and two hydrophones capable of detecting the full range of dolphin sounds.

They will start testing the system on wild Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in the middle of this year. At first, divers will play back one of eight "words" coined by the team to mean "seaweed" or "bow wave ride", for example. The software will listen to see if the dolphins mimic them. Once the system can recognise these mimicked words, the idea is to use it to crack a much harder problem: listening to natural dolphin sounds and pulling out salient features that may be the "fundamental units" of dolphin communication.

Via New Scientist

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natinja
Posted 15/05/2011 – 23:56

I am wondering how the dolphins are going to react when they will hear grammatical errors in their own language for the first time in their life.

Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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