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Can we communicate with whales soon? | Israel today

2021-04-20T17:21:10.187Z

| Animals In the first ambitious project of its kind in the world, researchers from Israel and around the world seek to decipher the language of the giant mammals, and create a basis for a first-of-its-kind dialogue with them. Can we communicate with him soon? Sperm whale Photo:  Amanda Cotton We are all familiar with whale singing, but will we soon be able to understand their language and perhaps even



In the first ambitious project of its kind in the world, researchers from Israel and around the world seek to decipher the language of the giant mammals, and create a basis for a first-of-its-kind dialogue with them.

  • Can we communicate with him soon?

    Sperm whale

    Photo: 

    Amanda Cotton

We are all familiar with whale singing, but will we soon be able to understand their language and perhaps even communicate with them?

In the first ambitious project of its kind in the world, researchers from the University of Haifa, CUNY in New York, Harvard University, MIT and other partners want to decipher the language of the primate (sperm whales) and even create the basis for a first-of-its-kind dialogue with the giant sea mammals.

At a press conference held yesterday (Monday) in Dominica in the Caribbean, where the research will begin, the researchers launched the Project CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative) project.

The project, which will last at least 5 years, is a multidisciplinary project that will combine knowledge from the fields of marine biology, marine acoustics, artificial intelligence and linguistics, using innovative underwater robots and hundreds of diving hours that will strengthen the connection between divers and whales, which can reach 50 tons. And to a length of 18 feet.

"The tadpoles make clicking noises while hunting and other sounds, at different frequencies, when in the company of other whales - in what is probably a kind of social activity in a tribal structure," said Prof. Danny Chernov of the Leon Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University Haifa, one of the leaders of the research. "Are these just simple codes of communication or maybe a real language?

The truth is that we do not have a large enough database, so we just do not know. "

"Given the advancement of artificial intelligence and computer learning capabilities, we came up with the idea that if we could gather enough information - about voices, their social context, the connection between certain sounds and a certain behavior - we could develop algorithms that would tell us whether it was language or not. "Our big dream is that if it turns out to be a language, we might be able to communicate with the whales."

The person in charge of the unique project is Prof. David Gruber, head of the scientific project from CUNY.

Prof. Chernov is the Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Leading Scientific Committee.

Other leading names are Prof. Shefi Goldwasser, of Berkeley / MIT, who specializes in computer science and decoding ciphers, Prof. Rob Wood of Harvard, Director of the Robotics Department, Prof. Michael (Michael) Bronstein, Head of Artificial Intelligence at Imperial College, Prof. Shane Giro, The leading researcher of the world's leading whales today and more.

Together with Prof. Chernov, the researchers at the University of Haifa who are taking part in the project are Dr. Roy Diamant, who specializes in underwater acoustics, also from the School of Marine Sciences, and Dr. Bracha Nir, head of the Department of Communication Disorders.

Researchers at the University of Haifa are responsible for the establishment and operation of the research station in Dominica, for the establishment of the research vessel system, the float system, the robot system and, in fact, the entire operational side of the research.

"It is a great pride for us to lead one of the most fascinating research projects ever undertaken in the marine arena, and whose research findings have a significant impact on these exceptional animals," said Prof. Chernov, Dr. Diamant and Dr. Nir.

The President of the University of Haifa, Prof. Ron Rubin, said: "The participation of three researchers from the university in the prestigious research project alongside the world's leading researchers from Harvard, MIT and Berkeley, testifies to the extensive research done at the university and the School of Marine Sciences in particular."

Source: israelhayom

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