One thing that has always interested me and still interests me today is how animals are able to communicate with one another effectively. There are some animal species where their means of communication is understandable such as the way honeybees dance, but what exactly are ants communicating when they release pheromones? But what about something like fish or elephants?
Earth Species Project (ESP) is an organization dedicated to decoding and ultimately communicating with non-human species, such as animals. CEO Katie Zacarian believes that artificial intelligence can help make this goal a reality. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has given Earth Species Project a platform to further their cause and share the progress they are making in decoding animal communication.
The first step in achieving this goal is to recognize patterns in animal language, and then use machine learning systems to analyze that data in order to understand it. In order to determine the potential meaning behind the patterns, scientists need to match the communication with corresponding behavior. ESP is utilizing this approach by studying birds, dolphins, primates, elephants, and honeybees.
The organization believes that marine mammals may be the key for the first breakthrough since much of their communication is done acoustically. If successful, this could lead to two-way conversations with animals…just like Doctor Dolittle! This could also open up new opportunities for considering our relationship with other species on earth. For example, should we ask whales to dive out of the way of boats when it changes their feeding habits? Or should boats change course?
These questions may have answers sooner than we think thanks to Earth Species Project’s pioneering research. By understanding what animals say, and being able to communicate back, we are entering a new era of relationship building between humans and animals which has huge implications for us all. It’s an exciting time for ESP as they continue their mission and bring us closer than ever before to understanding the languages of other species that inhabit our planet.