Swedish startup’s tech could help us talk to dolphins

A Swedish startup has been commissioned to use its artificial intelligence technology to try to communicate with dolphins.

Swedish startup's tech could help us talk to dolphins
What will the dolphins tell us? Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT (edited by The Local)

Language technology company Gavagai has teamed up with researchers from Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in an effort to use the firm's language artificial intelligence to figure out what dolphins are talking about when they communicate with each other.

Gavagai CEO Lars Hamberg explained to The Local how the tech works:

“The technology models meaning instead of structure. It is unsupervised, and it continuously learns meaning by itself, by observing every language's usage – much like a human. The technology is based on many years of world-leading research.”

The research will take place over four years, working with bottlenose dolphins at wildlife park Kolmården's dolphinarium in Norrköping, southern Sweden.

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It's hoped that it will ultimately be possible to communicate with and understand dolphins as a result, an outcome Hamberg says is “very realistic with recent advances in science and technology, specifically in language AI”.

And the cross-species communication doesn't have to stop there. The artificial intelligence could also be applied to other animals.

“Members of the project group have done extensive research on cats, bird and other animals,” Hamberg revealed.

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