A U.K. professor at Imperial College London is working to utilize artificial intelligence to decode animal communications, allowing humans to better understand the signals various species are trying to send.
Professor Michael Bronstein's work focuses especially on whale songs. Bronstein heads the Cetacean Translation Initiative (CETI), which aims to decipher calls between sperm whales.
In a 2019 paper, Bronstein described how his team has made thousands of recordings of sperm whale songs and utilized artificial intelligence programs to predict what whale would call back in a given sequence — although they still do not yet know what each call means.
While many animals have very basic vocalizations, other species such as elephants and dolphins have elaborate communication structures.
Bronstein said that with the development of artificial intelligence programs such as Siri and Alexa that analyze human speech, "the time is right" to begin decoding animal communications as well.