The use of Artificial Intelligence in the translation of communications in pets to human speech is not an innovation and has been perceived to be fiction.
These devices have been slightly used previously, for instance, the baby translator device that created a gap between two brothers Herb and Homer Simpson. Additionally, there is this neck device that was used by Doug, a dog character in the movie Top.
From the look of things, the technology is not far from implementation and use. According to Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, a famous professor at the Northern Arizona University, who has an experience of over 30 years in the study of animal behavior and communication, is currently working on a device that will be AI-powered to study and translate animal facial expressions and noises in English.
The Study of Prairie Dogs
First, Dr. Con carefully studied the behavior of prairie dogs on how they warn others of invading predators by the use of high-pitched, irritating wails.
He then recorded a series of complicated patterns used by prairie dogs. He confirmed that the combination of these calls could show various things including appearances and colors.
During an interview with NBC, Dr. Slobodchikoff thought he could test the technology with prairie dogs, other species of dogs and cats. To accomplish this, the doctor plans to create an algorithm that converts sounds produced by cats and dogs into simple, understandable English.
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Over the past year, he founded Zoolingua, a company that specializes in the production of devices to translate body movements, facial expressions and pet sounds.
However, the website was active until October 2017, and since then, the firm has not posted any recent reports and findings.
How the Device Learns and Translates the Sounds
These various descriptions stand for adverbs or adjectives and the species of the predators and comparable to human language, say Dr. Con to Psychology Today.
The speed of the squeaks produced interconnected with the rate of the predators travel and can be similar to the verb in human language. Furthermore, a single alarm call was carefully compared to a simple sentence in a word.
It is a fact that prairie dogs, herbivorous species of rodents found in North America, possess distinct color, sizes and shapes.
However, the most exceptional findings are that all these calls are made up of phonemes just like words used by humans also consist of phonemes; this is following an explanation from the doctor.
What Is A Phoneme?
A phoneme is a group of distinct sounds believed to have the same purpose of by speakers of the same language. The phonemes are accumulated to morphemes and eventually gathered to meaningful words.
In this case, the alarm calls produced by prairie dogs. The call was made up of the same units of sounds but slightly distinct as they were accumulated in different orders like in human words.
Though AI technology is exceptional when used in a language, it can have its shortcomings. For instance, Facebook closed its artificial intelligence project after it started making its distinct language. Just like Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, Facebook has plans to use Artificial Intelligence to interpret human expressions.
It is a fact that various tech companies are laying strategic plans to integrate Artificial Intelligence in their systems.
On that note, this concept is similar to Apple’s facial recognition software, a voluntary function that users have the power to either use it or not.
From Dr.Con’s discovery and innovation, the tool is ideal to help humans understand the ability of animals to communicate verbally and efficiently. It undoubtedly creates a good bond between master and pet regarding how they behave and live.