Turn Your Cursor into a Songbird

Alejandro Alvarez
December 14th 2016

If you live in a city, it may not be difficult to identify a bird solely by its song, since the feathered species that have adapted to live in our metropolis are not that numerous. In nature it’s a different story and, although recognizing birds by their songs can be seen as an idle hobby, it's an important ability if you are an ornithologist surveying a forest to identify an endangered bird in a chorus of hundreds of songs. With that problem in mind a team of coders has developed a tool that is also fun to use.

The Bird Sounds experiment, powered by Google Creative lab, is a visualization of thousands of bird songs organized by their similarities. An AI decided which songs were similar and filed them in a grid in which you can “glide” with your cursor and hear a swarm of birdcalls; you can also look for a specific bird to listen to.

The envisioned future application for this technology is to walk with a recording device and being able to distinguish and count not only birds, but any class of animal sound to help scientists survey populations and species in different ecosystems.

Take a look and have fun discovering which birds you can identify.

Source: AI Experiments

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Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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