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Could humans communicate with dolphins in the near future?

| November 25, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Interspecies communication might seem like something out of science fiction. But as it turns out, we might not be too far away from being able to communicate directly with animals.

Thad Starner, who is a Technical Lead/Manager on Google’s Project Glass, is working on a project that would allow humans to communicate with free-swimming dolphins in real time. Starner is working with noted animal communication expert Denise Herzing to improve current communication systems, which rely on captive dolphins and obtrusive apparatuses.

“Instead of pushing a keyboard through the water, the diver is wearing the complete system and it’s acoustic only. Basically the diver activates the sounds on a keypad on the forearm. The sounds go out through an underwater speaker. If a dolphin mimics the whistle or a human plays the whistle, the sounds come in and are localized through two hydrophones,” Herzing explained at a TED talk this year on dolphin communication. “The computer can localize who requested the toy, if there is a word match. The real power of this is in the real-time sound recognition, so we can respond to the dolphins quickly and accurately.”

Read the full, original story here: Is Google’s Secretive Research Lab Working on Human-Dolphin Communication?

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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