Scientists Tested the First Dolphin-to-English Translator. Here’s What Happened.

Dolphins are considered the second-most intelligent beings on the planet. Their brains are incredibly complex, they posses incredible problem solving skills, and they exist in social structures very similar to our own. Many scientists believe they experience emotion and pain in a fashion very similar to humans.

For 25 years,Denise Herzing of the Wild Dolphin Project has played with and studied the same dolphin pod, trying to understand how they think and communicate. Last August, her hard work was rewarded in an unbelievable way.

“While wearing a prototype Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT) device in the Caribbean, a member of the dolphin pod she had been tracking for 25 years whistled. And CHAT translated it into “sargassum,” a genus of seaweed,” explains IFLScience.com. Much like the first words relayed over a telephone wire, the simple statement represents a turning point both for marine biologists and technology.

CHAT was built for Herzing’s research byThad Starner of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The device usespattern-discovery algorithms to analyze dolphin whistles, extracting features that we wouldn’t know to look for even if we could hear them (dolphin vocalizations happen atfrequencies up to 10 times higher than the highest pitch detectable by the human ear). IFLScience explains how it works:

The software analyzes these whistles by sifting through data and labeling features that deviate from an assumed average state. It then groups similar types of deviations — distinct sets of clicks or whistles — until all potentially interesting patterns are extracted. The secret is repetition. If dolphins are exchanging information, then their behavior wouldn’t be random there’d be discoverable patterns. Information-processin

Image via Esparta Palma

168 comments

Jane R.
Jane R.about a year ago

I don't understand any of this . Why are you people arguing with each other? Just let everyone voice their opinion whether you agree or not. It's that simple. Not everyone has to have same opinion. Live and let live!

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

thanks for sharing :)

Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

No, Mark, you didn't use the word "extremism", I did, to describe your comments. They are extreme and you advocate for the human race to become extinct in order to save animals. You've said it a hundred times, maybe in different words, and I'm not wasting a second of my time to go back and find them in order to "copy and paste" to prove what I've said. You said in this discussion, on June 15th at 8:14 P.M. that humans are "nothing, not valuable for anything". You've said worse previously and in many other C2 discussions about animal welfare. Just because you may not have used the word "extermination" doesn't mean you didn't imply or suggest that humans should cease to exist and "the sooner the better".

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Also Diane, it's you brought up the concept of "extermination" I never once did that.. you are just proving what is despicable about human nature. Extermination would be one of those things that humans gravitate toward.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Diane L. I said nothing about "extremism" and "violence". That's simply putting words in my mouth as an attempt to silence the sordid facts. If you have a counterargument, state it! Give me how humans as a whole are good for the biosphere of the earth, and what exactly do they give to it? Other than destruction? I'm listening? Doubtful I will get any kind of rational answer from you about this,

Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

Janice, first of all, what I say is none of your business, secondly, I don't sleep at night, I sleep days, and thirdly and most importantly, I have every right to object to the posting of such stuff when it comes across as extremism and violence towards people being advocated and suggested.

BTW, I do ignore him and most with any common sense do as well. Just wondering what motivates him to keep this nonsense up. He pops up about every couple of months and posts stuff about how worthless humans are and how humans should all be exterminated, yet I do believe he is one. I guess it wouldn't be appropriate to ask him to set an example there, would it?

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

Diane, if you don't like what Mark says, ignore him. You will sleep better at night.

Diane L.
Diane L.2 years ago

Mark D., you keep resurrecting yourself about once every couple of months to come into Care2 and rant about how horrible humans are, yet it seems to me that you are one, or you are a very skilled typist for a dog or cat. If you truly are a human and think humans are so despicable, why don't you do something about that? You haven't yet made one viable suggestion about what you would or COULD do to change anything, just whine about humans being so bad "as a species".

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

I don't believe humans have invented or created anything. Their so called "evolved intelligence" are just some ancient genetic memories that they have dug up from an unnaturally mutated brain, which allows them to unconsciously build gadgets, do math, etc. Humans are nothing, not valuable to anything. Humans as a whole give nothing, contribute nothing to a biosphere, only destroy and pillage it. A microbe has more value to a planetary ecosystem than seven billion humans.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

"these humans are attacking our world"