An amazing new breakthrough could allow people to talk to their pooches at some point.
An astonishing new discovery could one day allow people to talk to their pets for real. Scientists are developing technology that could serve as a pet translator, converting dog barks into an actual language that could be understood by humans.
The work is being led by Con Slobodchikoff, a professor at Northern Arizona University who has been studying the communication and language of prairie dogs for more than 30 years. He is taking advantage of artificial intelligence to try to understand their complex language of barks, growls, and howls, and hopefully by extension be able to identify the messages being communicate by dogs when they growl or wag their tails.
He published a book a few years ago titled “Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals.” He believes that humans and animals could be communicating directly in just about 10 years. He and colleagues have founded a company named Zoolingua to further develop this technology.
“Groundbreaking research has been done teaching animals human language, but what about the other way around?” reads the blurb from his aforementioned book on Amazon. “Studies have shown that lizards, squid, monkeys, and birds are talking to each other, communicating information about food, predators, squabbles, and petty jealousies. These animal languages are unique and highly adaptive. By exploring them, we come to appreciate the basis of our own languages; understanding or even “speaking” them allows us to get closer to the other species who inhabit this planet with us. The implications of animals having language are enormous. It has been one of the last bastions separating “us” from “them.””