Decoding the language of animals
There were numerous attempts in the 20th century to teach human language to animals, says Karen Bakker in Scientific American. But apart from a young gorilla called Koko who learned to “talk” using 1,000 hand signals, those efforts all failed. Today, rather than trying to find out whether bees can speak English, scientists are trying to decode the language they already use with one another. “Bioacoustics” researchers are installing a new generation of tiny microphones everywhere from the Arctic to the Amazon, and on the backs of deep-diving turtles and high-flying birds. Advanced AI then scans the “data deluge” these recorders log, in a bid to spot “patterns in non-human communication”.