START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
2,569,994 people care about Environment & Wildlife

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

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

Read more: , , ,

Image via Esparta Palma

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

166 comments

+ add your own
2:35AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

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".

12:35PM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

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.

12:33PM PDT on Jun 29, 2014

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,

11:28PM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

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?

10:16AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

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

9:07PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

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".

8:14PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

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.

8:09PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

"these humans are attacking our world"

2:57AM PDT on Apr 7, 2014

I just hope we don't use this technology to commit another barbarity against animals.

7:36PM PDT on Apr 5, 2014

If dolphins were extraterrestrials come to Earth to communicate with humans, they would communicate. They would not use whistles, clicks and squawks that have no meaning to us - even those who have spent a lifetime studying dolphins. If they were physically unable to make similar vocal sounds to humans, they would have brought their own “translators” when they came.

How would they know our language? How would they know our scientific names for genera that are in a language we abandoned centuries ago? If they have a word for seaweed, it would not be remotely like any name we have.

If dolphins had a language, would they not warn other dolphins to keep well away from Taiji waters? Or the Faroe Islands?

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

Tonight on the Alaska Homesteading program they showed a cow whose teats were like hamburger, because…

meet our writers

Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.