Project CETI plans to use artificial intelligence to converse with whales

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The urge to talk to animals has been a wish of humanity for decades. Whether it's Eve talking to a sneaky, sneaky snake or a TikTok star teaching their dog to converse through buttons, it's always there. With Project CETI, scientists might actually work out how.

Scientists design Project CETI to translate whale speech

Reported by Hakai, Project CETI is a new AI-powered research project designed around translating animal speech. Focusing entirely on whales, the software project will attempt to create a deeper understanding of marine life.

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The project aims to decode the communicative clicks of sperm whales. A natural language processing AI will be trained on a large dataset of whale clicks.

Scientists on the project believe that they've already seen good results. However, the current dataset is nowhere near as big enough for full translations in the future.

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We need more recordings of whales, man!

The team behind Project CETI have revealed that they need to vastly expand their dataset. Despite a promising start, the team needs to multiply their existing data by around 40,000 times. The team needs around 4 billion whale codas; they currently have 100,000.

An additional issue with the project will be contextualisation of whale clicks. In order to place specific clicks into human words, multiple years of sperm whale research will be needed. Every coda will need to be contextualised before translation.

There's no knowing how much understanding this research will result in. However, animal speech research is continuing to pick up with multiple species. Whales are just another project on the pile.

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