Can technology help us talk to animals?

"Today, tools like drones, digital recorders and artificial intelligence are helping us hear the sounds of nature in unprecedented ways," writes Vox, citing Karen Bakker, author of the new book Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants.


But how far can we go?

Automated listening devices exist in ecosystems across the planet, from rainforests to deep oceans, and miniaturization allows scientists to attach microphones to animals as small as bees.

"Together, these digital devices act like a hearing aid on a planetary scale: enabling humans to observe and study the sounds of nature beyond the limits of our sensory capabilities," writes Bakker.

All of these devices generate a lot of data, and researchers in the fields of bioacoustics (which studies the sounds made by living organisms) and ecoacoustics (which studies the sounds made by entire ecosystems) are turning to artificial intelligence to look for through the piles of recordings, patterns that could help us understand what the animals are saying to each other. Today there are databases of whale songs and bee dances, among other things, Bakker says, and one day they could turn into "a zoological version of Google Translate."

In an interview with Vox, the author states that already “We can use AI-enabled robots to speak the languages ​​of animals and essentially break the barrier of communication between species. Researchers do this in a very rudimentary way with bees, dolphins and in some cases with elephants.

"But this raises a very serious moral question..."

An example.

A research team in Germany encoded the bees' signals with a robot placed in a hive. This robot is able to use bee dance communication to tell bees to stop moving and is able to tell those bees where to fly for a specific nectar source.

The next stage of this research is to implant these robots into bee hives so that the hives accept these robots as members of their community from birth.

So then we would have an unprecedented degree of control over the hive. We will essentially have tamed this hive in a way that we have never done before.

This creates the potential for animals to be exploited and there is a long history of military use of animals…. The Best Technology Site in Greece
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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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