Scientists find ways to talk to whales, what will they tell us?

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2021-11-04 13:52:33

An interdisciplinary team of scientists launched the project with the goal of decoding and communicating with sperm whales. Finally, the scene in “Finding Nemo” may actually come true.

Finding Nemo “Speaking Whale” Clip

The initiative is called Project CETI (Marine Mammal Interpretation Initiative), and its goal is to use artificial intelligence to understand whale language, according to Hakai Magazine. More specifically, the team wanted to decode the “click” sound that sperm whales use to communicate with each other, also known as “codas”.

To do this, the researchers plan to use natural language processing (NLP), a subfield of AI that focuses on written and spoken language processing. The team fed sperm codas records into an NLP algorithm, with promising results.

The Sound of Sperm Whales

“They seem to work very well, at least for some relatively simple tasks,” Michael Bronstein, machine learning leader of the CETI Project, said.

While the goal is great, there’s a huge barrier: they need data, a lot.

In fact, the first goal of the CETI Project was to collect 4 billion codas of sperm whales. The team is currently planning on building on research from the Dominica Project, which has already collected nearly 100,000 codas. For comparison, GPT-3 – the famous deep learning predictive language model – was trained using about 175 billion words, according to Hakai.

Scientists find ways to talk to whales, what will they tell us?  - Photo 4.

The researchers will also need to put all the codas into context, as words without context won’t make any sense. And that will require years of research in the sperm whale’s natural habitat.

However, if and when the CETI Project accomplishes that enormous task, it is possible that a language model could be developed to communicate with whales – which could permanently change the way humans live. people perceive and interact with nature.

If we discover that there’s an entire civilization that’s basically right around the corner, maybe that will lead to some changes in the way we treat the environment, and possibly the extinction of our planet. more respect for the living world.

Reference: Futurism

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