Do you mean “whales”? The project uses artificial intelligence to communicate with the giants of the seas

Extract from the animation “Finding Nemo”. Credit: Disney – Pixar, 2003

If one day you find a “little kid” like that at sea (and your defense instincts don’t tell you to swim too far), you can do like Dory from Finding Nemo and try a “whale”. For this, you can use an Artificial Intelligence program that allows the decoding of the language between whales and humans.

Yes, it is possible, according to an interdisciplinary team of scientists who launched the North American Cetacean Translation Initiative (CETI) project, with the aim of decoding and communicating with sperm whales.

In free translation, CETI stands for Cetacean Translation Initiative, and aims to use AI as a tool to understand the language of whales.

The CETI project uses the sounds emitted by sperm whales to decode the language of whales. Image: Wonderful nature –

Specifically, according to the Futurism website, the team wants to decode the clicks that sperm whales use to communicate, also known as “codas”.

A long way to the whaler

To achieve this, the researchers plan to leverage natural language processing (NLP), an AI subdomain focused on the processing of written and spoken language. The team has already applied sperm whale coda recordings to an NLP algorithm, with promising results.

“They seemed to work really well, at least with some relatively simple tasks,” said Michael Bronstein, head of machine learning for the CETI project.

As amazing as teams’ goals are, there’s a huge hurdle: They need data – and lots of it.

The first objective of the CETI project is to collect four billion sperm whale codas. So far, the team, which uses survey data from the Dominica Sperm Project, has only collected 100,000 codas. For comparison, GPT-3 – the well-known deep learning predictive language model – was trained with around 175 billion words.

In addition, researchers will also need to put all codas into context. After all, words without context make no sense. And it will take years of research into the sperm whale’s natural habitats.

If and when the CETI project completes this complex task, it is possible that a language model will be developed to communicate in “whales” – which could permanently alter the way humans perceive and interact with nature.

“It can lead to changes in the way we treat our environment,” Bronstein believes. ” And maybe, [tenhamos] more respect for the living world ”.

The safest option, for now, is “keep swimming!” “

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