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The incredible story of these scientists who “chatted” with a whale

© Pexels/Andre Estevez

If you've always dreamed of conversing with a humpback whale, scientists from the Whale-SETI group had that chance. In an article published in the scientific journal Peer J, they explained their very stimulating approach.

Concretely, the researchers used a recording of the contact song of this animal in order to attract its attention. The female named Twain quickly appeared, and she responded with some form of greeting, then began to swim around the boat.

Translator coming soon to understand animals ?

For the rest, the exchange remained quite brief, but the scientists hope to be able to have other discussions with the beast by managing to identify certain sounds of his language: « how are you ? » or « the fishing is good today ? » The impressive sounds emitted by this very intelligent animal can be distinguished in this report from our colleagues at CBS Sacramento.

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If this approach is fascinating in itself, it also opens the way to new and exciting reflections. Quoted by BGR, Brenda McCowan of U.C. Davis, the main author of this study underlines:

Due to current limitations in technology, an important hypothesis in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is that extraterrestrials will be interested in establishing contact and will thus target human receptors. This important hypothesis is certainly supported by the behavior of humpback whales.

This is far from the first time that idea of ​​establishing discussions between men and animals using their language is mentioned. In 2020, we mentioned in particular this study carried out by scientists from Delaware who attempted to decode the sounds emitted by mice.

The team thus collected data on groups of four mice comprising two males and two females. They interacted for five hours and all of these exchanges were all recorded on video. The researchers then used artificial intelligence through machine learning to better understand who says what and under what circumstances the vocalizations are emitted.

We can also cite this report published there a few years ago by Amazon in collaboration with the futurologist William Higham. This text bet on the fact that within a decade teams will have succeeded in putting on the market a translator allowing people to speak with animals. We're not there yet, but things are definitely moving forward.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116