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Human-Dolphin Communication Closer to Becoming A Reality

Stashed in: Whales!, Science!, Communication, Intelligence, Dolphins

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Dolphins are believed to be one of the most intelligent animal species on the planet -- although precisely how intelligent is difficult to gauge.

That may be about to change. Scientists at the Wild Dolphin Project (WDP) who have been developing a dolphin translator may have succeeded in getting their software to work.

In August 2013, WDP director Denise Herzing was swimming in the Caribbean with a pod of dolphins she has been tracking for 25 years, wearing a prototype of a dolphin translator called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology's Thad Starner, when one of the dolphin's whistles was translated as the word "sargassum" -- a type of seaweed.

I wonder what we can learn from them:

If the CHAT program succeeds, two-way human-dolphin communication will become a real possibility. It won't work universally, at least to start with -- dolphins "speak" in regional dialects, each of which will need to be translated anew -- but it may be possible to one day know what really goes on in those strange, shiny heads.

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