Scientists think they can finally talk to whales. Maybe they shouldn't?

Scientists think they can finally talk to whales Maybe they.pngsignaturefbe3b664d32006ba75a7db2f51113029

Imagine you are a whale. No, not someone who owns large sums of cryptocurrency. A real whale swimming in the ocean. You can think of it as a leadership test or creative thinking if it helps.

You swim together and chat with your pot while you make whale stuff. Everything is pretty much as it was for about 45 million years.

And then all of a sudden a robot starts talking to you in your own language. You may not be aware that it is a robot. I mean, it's not like you know what artificial intelligence is or how underwater speakers work.

Even if you were as smart as a human child, you would have no context for knowing that the sounds you are hearing are transmitted by scientists on the surface.

You had to think it was ... ghosts? Right?

A team of researchers from Project CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative) recently began working on explaining the language of humpback whales.

According to an article in Hakai Magazine, the main goal of the project is to train AI to speak to them in their own language:

The clicks of sperm whales are ideal candidates for trying to code their meaning - not just because, unlike continuous sounds, other whale species make , they are easily translated into ones and heavens. The animals dive down to the depths of the deepest ocean and communicate over great distances, so they cannot use body language and facial expressions, which are important means of communication for other animals.

The main idea would be to train a cloud network to interpret the whale's speech in a way that we could, basically, say hello.

This has a huge impact and most of them are not really about being best friends with whales. We are not talking about a paradigm where, one day, we would get sea weather reports from giant whales with translational helmets or something.

It's more like: the better we understand the language of animals and how different creatures react to communication, the better we will understand the world around us. Tidal lifts all vessels.

Scientists could discover new ideas about human language by comparing how we communicate with how whales do. But such knowledge would require us to put together a sort of Rosetta Stone for the language of the whales.

Currently, the CETI researchers are just beginning to work on the problem of recognizing the different clicking sounds that sperm whales make and discovering how they can AI train to recognize them. Over time, the team has to manually identify their data by observing whale behavior.

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Basically, we're going to record the whales and then shout stuff at them in their own language and see how they deal. This is really cool and, to be fair, we do a lot of wild stuff with rats and other mammals in the name of science. Why not whales?

But, I mean, how are the whales going to explain this? Sperm whales dive deep down where they can't see each other. They communicate with complex language because they know where food, threats and each other are essential for survival.

And they clearly do not sail with landmarks when they are too far from the surface for sunlight to enter or it is dark.

What happens when we start adding sound to their language? The whales may immediately recognize the inconsistent voice as something different from them and avoid it. But what if they believe it?

What if scientists out there are randomly calling out stuff they are very sure it's cool, but do the whales hear end - day astronomy telling them that all is lost and that it's time to swim to the abyss?

I am not a whale expert. And, to be honest, I think it's worth the risk. Because it's a long time ago to think that an AI paradigm could make whales dive into an underwater volcano or something.

It is much more plausible to think that CETI will be able to use this for a whale conservation rather than for a whale conversations. And that is the profiteering that we should be involved in.

However, it is worth noting that Mark Zuckerberg did not ask anyone for permission when his company, Facebook, conducted extensive psychological tests on humans using artificial intelligence.

Elon Musk did not ask the public to agree to any terms of service when he released his fake tests to us.

Without regulation, AI researchers and entrepreneurs are virtually free to do anything they want. So in the end it doesn't matter if you are a human or a whale. Maybe it should.

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