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Dolphins have been known to have a very complex language system: they communicate with other dolphins through sounds and high-pitched frequencies. Some are actually undetectable to human ears, and have to be monitored by special sonar equipment. Dolphins give each other names and are actually communicating with each other all the time, much like how humans communicate and have conversations with one another.

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Aren’t you curious about what on Earth… or what in the universe, might they be communicating about? Swedish startup, Gavagai AB, an artificial intelligence language analysis company, is teaming up with researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to monitor and test the expanding systems capabilities and is aiming to decipher the thoughts and communications of dolphins.

The research team will monitor bottlenose dolphins and use Gavagai AB’s artificial intelligence language analysis software to decode the sounds the dolphin’s make and hopefully complete a thorough dictionary of dolphin language. I find this particularly intriguing because many people feel there is an extraterrestrial energy about dolphins, and they are known to be one of the smartest species on the planet, just imagine what they might like to communicate with us if we end up being able to speak their language and directly communicate with them!

This reminds me of the story of Koko the Gorilla, who was taught how to understand and communicate basic sign language, and who had a message for us regarding environmental sustainability. Just imagine what the dolphins might want us to know!

The research team has confidence in this endeavour thanks to the AI capabilities mentioned above and the access and availability to more dolphin data, larger resources, and access to the latest recording methods.

“We hope to be able to understand dolphins with the help of artificial intelligence technology,” KTH adjunct professor and Gavagai co-founder Jussi Karlgren said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We know that dolphins have a complex communication system, but we don’t know what they are talking about yet.”

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Why Bother?

Even though the desire to understand dolphin language might seem like a strange goal, in the context it is being used it makes sense. Even though listening to what dolphins are essentially talking about is very interesting and might satisfy some curiosity in many zoologists, the researchers really just mainly want to see if it is possible. If this breakthrough is made, this could prove to be very beneficial to big business. Focusing their attention on the research with dolphins will help the Gavagai AB further improve its tool for other uses.

If we can decipher the language of dolphins, then perhaps we can start deciphering the language of other non-human species in the near future. While this technology is impressive, the company estimates this project will take around 4 years to complete. I wonder if we will be having regular conversations with dolphins after this, or if this technology will be used in the tourism industry at all. If you could talk to a dolphin, what would you want to know? Let us know in the comments section!

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