Tech Tonic presents: Can AI help us speak to animals? Part one

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While the Life and Art team takes a break for Thanksgiving, we’re sharing an episode of Tech Tonic, the FT’s technology podcast hosted by innovation editor John Thornhill. This is part one of a two-part series about whether AI can help us speak to animals. Search ‘Tech Tonic’ where you listen or look here for part two: https://on.ft.com/3sQh1DR

Here’s what it’s about: A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence is enabling researchers to listen in to all kinds of conversations outside the human hearing range, a field known as bioacoustics. Some scientists now believe these developments will also allow us to ‘translate’ animal sounds into human language. In a new season of Tech Tonic, FT innovation editor John Thornhill and series producer Persis Love ask whether we’re moving closer to being able to ‘speak whale’ or even to chat with bats.

Free links:

– Google Translate for the zoo? How humans might talk to animals

Credits: Sperm whale sounds from Project CETI; honeyhunter calls from Claire Spottiswoode Presented by John Thornhill, produced by Persis Love, sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. The executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Cheryl Brumley is the FT’s head of audio.

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