Here at Tailster, we love speaking to our dogs. They’re attentive, they don’t answer back, and they do that really cute head-tilt thing – what’s that about?!
Well, they might come sooner than you think…
Researchers from Northern Arizona University are working on a ‘pet translator’ that could finally allow owners to communicate with their cats and dogs. Better still, they’re hoping that the tech will be ready within the next decade!
The team of researchers, led by Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, have been working with prairie dogs for the last 30 years. Although not technically dogs, studies found that the high pitched calls that they make to warn one another of predators would vary dependent on the particular type of predator.
With help from a computer scientist, they were able to turn these vocalisations into English, and it is now thought that the same process could be carried out on cats and dogs.
The team are now analysing thousands of hours of video footage of dogs barking. They hope to use computer software to analyse these, creating a database of sounds as well as the accompanying facial expressions.
It is hoped that, eventually, the algorithm will be able to interpret these noises and translate them for humans. The ultimate goal is to produce a two way translation device, which would allow the animals to speak to us, and us to speak back to them.
Not only is it a great idea, it also has its practical uses. It could be used, for example, to monitor our pets’ behaviour – identifying the cause of their anxiety, and implementing relevant changes.
Although it is unlikely at this stage that we’ll be able to have intellectual conversations with our pets, who knows what could be possible in the future. Bring it on, we say…
If you’re an animal lover who wants to make a little extra money by doing something that you love, why not join Tailster as a carer? We have a wide network of pet owners across the UK and, once approved, you’ll be able to care for them as and when it suits you, and get paid for it! For more information, click here.