A California-based nonprofit organization called Earth Species Project is building an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will be able to translate the languages of all animals on Earth into something humans can understand.
Researchers are developing AI machine learning techniques to translate animal “languages” into ones that humans can understand, and they want to apply them to all animals, a highly ambitious plan.
Look at it as a sort of Dr. Dolittle-type of AI.
A California-based nonprofit organization, Earth Species Project (ESP), launched in 2017 with Silicon Valley investors, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, is leading the initiative. In the plan’s first step, machine learning will be used to decode animal communication so everyone can benefit from its findings. Raskin said ESP is committed to helping humans communicate and understand as many species as possible, having published its first article in December 2021.
We are species-independent,” Raskin said to The Guardian, adding that ESP is developing translation algorithms that can be applied to biological systems of all kinds, from worms to whales. Raskin acknowledges that the goal is similar to going to the moon, but it isn’t to get there overnight. Instead, the ESP roadmap involves solving a series of smaller problems to achieve the big picture. These tools will assist researchers in revealing the secrets of species under study using artificial intelligence.
Bees, for instance, do a special “waggle dance” to signal to each other that they should land on a certain flower, which is a form of non-verbal communication. A noisy social environment can make it difficult to determine which animal is vocalizing within a group. This phenomenon is known as the “cocktail party problem.” Though seemingly insurmountable challenges face the group, some progress has been made, such as an algorithm that can generate imitated animal sounds to talk directly with them.
“It’s making the AI speak the language, although we don’t know what it means yet,” Raskin acknowledged. Raskin admits that AI may not be the only answer to saving animals, even though this type of research certainly has exciting implications, particularly concerning conservation. “These are the tools that allow us to take off our human glasses and understand entire communication systems,” he concluded.
As we can see, Artificial Intelligence is once again being used by scientists to break barriers and open new doors that would otherwise be unopenable. Talk about AI has been quite popular in recent years. This is because more and more scientists are turning towards artificial intelligence for help in various fields, despite many prominent scientists and people warning that AI must be controlled and looked over.
Earlier this year, we wrote about LaMDA, Google’s latest artificial intelligence, and a former Google engineer’s claim that the AI was sentient. Although this isn’t likely to be the case, it shows just how far artificial intelligence has progressed.
Artificial intelligence is widely used in science. For example, using artificial intelligence, astronomers explore the universe. Alternatively, AI systems can help scientists discover things that they might have missed otherwise through astronomical data analysis. Interestingly, and in a somewhat connection to ESP, Professor Avi Loeb has proposed that Artificial Intelligence developed by humans could one day maybe identify Alien AI and communicate with it.
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