Role Of AI In Deciphering Animal Communication

Role Of AI In Deciphering Animal Communication

The Earth Species Project (ESP), renowned for its efforts in understanding non-human languages, has achieved yet another significant breakthrough in understanding animal language.


Researchers are now using the same approach that helped us interpret ancient languages to comprehend our beloved animals better. Machine learning is artificial intelligence that may be used to decipher non-human communication. The Earth Species Project (ESP), located in California, seeks to use this technology to improve our understanding of other living things and contribute to their protection. In the ensuing decades, AI may assist us in deciphering animal communication.

Human attention and research have long focused on how animals communicate. However, AI communication involves much more than words and context, timing, tone, and facial emotions. Language decoding capabilities augmented by AI might soon begin to parse languages that no one living speaks.

Additionally, AI can be helpful to academics who are trying to decipher animal communication. The group attempts to decipher animal communication and identify a language not used by humans.


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More About ESP

Full NameEarth Species Project (ESP),
FounderAza Raskin
Born1 February 1984
EducationUniversity Of Chicago

Aza Raskin and Britt Selvitelle first met in 2007. Aza was assisting with the launch of Mozilla Labs at the time, while Britt was a member of the Twitter founding team. Their mutual interest in and appreciation for how technology alters how we relate to ourselves, one another, and the natural environment brought them together immediately. Since then, they have remained close.

Aza first learned about the Earth Species Project in 2013 after hearing an NPR piece on the Gelada monkey’s uncannily human-like vocalizations. Then, in 2017, they came upon two freshly released papers that showed how to translate a foreign language without using a single example of a machine learning milestone.

So we took a break from our computers (mainly) to journey out into the field and learn directly from individuals with decades of experience in bioacoustics and animal communication. Again, we were motivated by the work of several ethologists and researchers.

What ESP Desires To Accomplish?

Man has long been fascinated by animal communication, and his attempt to communicate has primal and basic roots. Some animal actions may be understood by humans instinctively, and others could be understood through observation. But despite having a sizable amount of data from sensors and body-mounted cameras, it remained largely observational and lacked sufficient evidence to be classified as a language.

ESP is adamant that machine learning algorithms can successfully read delicate and complicated signs and signals, which applies to the entire animal population, just like real-time communication occurs between speakers of different languages. According to Raskin, it is a drawn-out process, and they plan to go forward incrementally.

An article on the cocktail party problem, or hearing voices in a noisy environment, was previously published by ESP. The ESP-proposed Bioacoustic Cocktail Party Problem Network (BioCPPNet) might distinguish between the origins of animal noise and bioacoustics.

Acoustic mixes with overlapping calls may be successfully disentangled into models using BioCPPNet, a deep neural network architecture. They were able to classify and label eight different species with a 99.3% accuracy rate using bioacoustics.

Recognizing The Communication Demands Of Various Animal Species

According to scientists, animal communication is more complicated than human communication. Even though a signal or sound is provided at the same strength and frequency, it may have a distinct meaning. There is an evolutionary limit in both the human and animal communities.

The dangers, environmental factors, and predatory qualities of dominating species have become more critical factors in the evolution of life on Earth. Therefore, communication never ends in sophisticated organisms like humans. We developed primarily as social animals, but prairie dogs, although talking a lot, do not need to convey their emotions since animals only learn to speak when there is a benefit to doing so.

Animals like dolphins, who have less natural predators and greater brain levels, will be able to express more than just talking. To support this claim, Raskin uses an experiment exactly as requested where dolphins appear to have expressive capacities and act per group choice rather than instinct.

AI Role In Animal Communication Development

AI has been quite successful in understanding prehistoric human languages. As a result, communication involves more than words; it also involves context, timing, tone, and facial emotions. AI can also help assist researchers who are attempting to decipher animal communication.

To help better comprehend the research, let’s walk through a couple of them. With approximately 90% accuracy, researchers could distinguish various Marmoset cries in 2017. And in the same year, a different group of researchers developed a method for telling whether a sheep is in distress just by providing an AI picture of the sheep’s expression.

The AI-based model created by ESP tested on bat vocalizations, macaque coo sounds, and characteristic dolphin whistles, performed better when the noises originated from people the model had been trained on. Another research uses humpback whales as a test species to create unique animal noises using AI. By dividing vocalizations into micro-phonemes, unique calls are produced.

Another study intends to create an algorithm that determines the number of call types a species may use using self-supervised machine learning, which does not require human specialists to categorize the data to identify trends. Finally, another effort aims to comprehend the functional significance of vocalizations automatically. We anticipate that the work ESP can perform will yield fresh perspectives.


Whether used for scientific purposes or on an industrial scale, AI may undoubtedly be a handy tool in the care of animals. And optimistically, to at least partially interpret animal communication. According to research, songbirds may take parts of their sounds and rearrange them to convey new messages, much like dolphins use their distinctive whistles to communicate.

Most experts, however, refrain from referring to it as a language because no animal communication satisfies all the requirements. Artificial intelligence can assist people in understanding not very subtle but complex animal communication.

Without adequate data, relying on machine learning is the same as chasing a phantom. The only way to be sure is to go out and gather data, which is the only method to assess the vast volumes of animal chatter between various species.

Why do animals employ AI?

●        Due to its numerous advantages, artificial insemination (AI) is frequently utilized in place of natural mating in many animal species.

What kinds of animals use AI?

●        AI is assisting in preserving several species, including koalas, snow leopards, and humpback whales.

What effects does AI have?

●        Artificial intelligence has the potential to increase the productivity of our workplaces significantly and supplement human labor.

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