Professor and author Con Slobodchikoff from US-based Northern Arizona University has spent the last 30 years studying prarie dogs and has began work developing an algorithim to interpret their calls to determine what they are ‘saying’.
He told NBC News he thought if he can do this with prairie dogs, he can certainly do it with dogs and cats. He has launched a company, called Zoolingua, with the goal of developing a similar algorithm that can translate pet sounds, facial expressions and body movements into a language humans can understand.
The goal is to fine-tune the algorithms so people and animals can hold a conversation.
He is currently building a library of thousands of videos of dogs showing various barks and body movements.
The footage will be used to develop an AI algorithm that correctly picks what an animal is attempting to “say”.
The algorithm will sit inside a device that can be pointed at an animal to translate their “speech” into English.