Machine Learning Attempts to Translate Animal Communication

Neuroscientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Germany have deployed machine-learning algorithms to decode communication recorded in mole rat colonies, and documented the importance of varying dialects. This technology (already utilized in the analysis of human language) has also been applied to mice, bats, crows, sperm whales and more—sometimes opening fledgling pathways for humans to communicate back. Though we are far from a “Google Translate for animals,” the analysis has begun to reveal more to the nuance of animal communication. Read about the unexpected breakthroughs, the potential to ascertain meaning and other next steps at The New York Times.

Image courtesy of Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo