Scientists want to “talk” with whales using artificial intelligence.
An interdisciplinary group of scientists is working on a project to decipher whale songs and communicate with animals. According to Hakai Magazine, the ambitious Project CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative – “Cetacean Translation Initiative”), existing since March 2020, wants to start an interspecific dialogue with whales. The goal of the project is to decipher the songs of whales, establish their “language” and try to answer them.
To do this, the researchers plan to use Natural Language Processing (NLP), a subsection of artificial intelligence focused on the analysis and translation of written and oral speech. According to Hakai Magazine, the researchers have already used NLP algorithms to work with whale records and have received “promising results.”
However, researchers still have a lot of work to do. In order for artificial intelligence to cope with this task, it needs more data. Much more than there is now. For example, to “understand” the human language of a similar technology, GPT-3, it took about 175 billion words. Now, within the framework of the Dominica Sperm Whale Project, scientists have managed to collect a paltry 100,000 whale “codes” (this term refers to the “words” of whales).
Scientists will also need to put all the codes in context. The fact is that words without context are meaningless. And this will require years of research into the natural habitat of sperm whales. If Project CETI copes with this titanic task, people may be able to communicate in the “whale” language, which, as Futurism notes, could forever change the way people perceive nature and interact with it.
“If we discover that an entire civilization is, in fact, under our noses – perhaps this will lead to some shift in our attitude to the environment. And, perhaps, this will lead to greater respect for the living world,” the scientists write.