The advancement of artificial intelligence, or AI, has always been a captivating subject in the world of science and technology. Its impact on humanity is uncertain, but the potential uses of AI are vast and diverse. One of the latest developments in the use of AI is for communication with whales. Scientists are gathering data to develop a language model that could enable AI systems to comprehend and interpret whale communications. But what exactly is an LLM, and how does it work? Join in as we dive deeper into the world of whale communication and AI.
Wait … What is LLM?
So, what is LLM? LLM stands for Language Learning Machine. This tool is used by artificial intelligence programs to comprehend and learn language by processing vast amounts of data. For example, the phrase “he likes his coffee with milk and two sugars” helps an LLM understand that coffee, milk, and sugar often go together. LLMs can refine AI models and study animal communication, offering incredible possibilities for future communication with other beings.
What Does This Have to Do With Whale Communication?
Now, let’s talk about whales. Did you know that whales have a unique language, which is composed of complex vocalizations? These vocalizations are used to communicate with others in their pod, as well as with other species of whales nearby. Scientists have even discovered that different pods of the same species can speak in different dialects!
Earth Species Project (Project CETI)
Explore the fascinating world of animal communication with two nonprofit organizations, Project CETI and the Earth Species Project. These initiatives, funded by the TED Audacious Prize, are using AI tools to decipher and interact with animal vocalizations. From sperm whales to beluga whales, crows to humpbacks, they are unlocking the language of the wild and bridging the communication gap through the Interspecies Internet community.
Will Humans Ever Talk to Whales?
It is here where the LLMs come in to help. With an LLM, scientists can train AI systems to comprehend the intricacies of whale vocalizations and make sense of their communication patterns. By understanding whale communication, we can learn more about their behaviour, habits and needs, and make better decisions to protect and conserve them.
So, how does this work in reality? A research group recently published an experiment where they used AI learning techniques to understand whale communication. They analyzed the vocalizations of sperm whales, which can withstand extreme pressures and travel through vast distances in the ocean. The aim was to recognize patterns of whale vocalization and their descriptors, such as species, sex, and context, to reveal what they were trying to communicate. The study helped the researchers recognize four distinct signals that the whales use to communicate with each other in the wild.
All this information gathered through AI technology is vital to ensure the protection and conservation of whale species. Understanding their communication patterns, habits, and needs ensures that we can make necessary changes to our activities to safeguard and protect their survival.
Sperm whales using vowels?
Our research on whale clicks has uncovered recurrent spectral properties that are independent of traditional types. Using our AI interpretability technique CDEV, we discovered two distinct patterns: the a-vowel and the i-vowel. We also observed clear trajectories in formant frequency known as diphthongs. This suggests that sperm whales engage in active dialogue, exchanging a-vowels and i-vowels. These findings open up new avenues for research in whale philology and indicate that sperm whale codas are more expressive and compositional than previously believed.
The quest to crack the enigmatic language of whales remains a captivating realm of exploration. Harnessing cutting-edge technologies like AI holds great promise, teasing the possibility of unraveling the secrets of these majestic beings. Delving into the intricacies of their communication patterns could unlock insights into their social dynamics, behaviors, and the hurdles they face. Further research is needed to confirm the fascinating discovery of vowel-like sounds in their clicks. As we venture forth on this frontier, let us ensure that our insatiable curiosity and technological strides never disturb the tranquility and habitat of these magnificent marine maestros.