Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales?
Droesser, Christoph. "Are We on the Verge of Chatting with Whales?" Hakai Magazine 26 October 2021, audio edition and online as of 29 October 2021 at link here.
Subhead: "An ambitious project is attempting to interpret sperm whale clicks with artificial intelligence, then talk back to them."
See for (syntactic? semantic?) AI as a literal interface between the human and the cetacean, humans and whales. Note such earlier works as THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN and Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide line from the dolphins, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish. The article also covers work with dolphins and the parallels between CETI ("Cetacean Translation Initiative") and SETI,
which has scanned the sky for radio signals of alien civilizations since the 1960s, so far without finding a single message. Since no sign of ET [Extraterrestrials] has been found, [computer scientist Michael] Bronstein is convinced we should try out our decoding skills on signals that we can detect here on Earth. Instead of pointing our antennas toward space, we can eavesdrop on a culture in the ocean that is at least as alien to us. “I think it is very arrogant to think that Homo sapiens is the only intelligent and sentient creature on Earth,” Bronstein says. “If we discover that there is an entire civilization basically under our nose — maybe it will result in some shift in the way that we treat our environment. And maybe it will result in more respect for the living world.”
For background here, note suggestion by Johann Gottfried Herder (1704-1803) of classifying humans as Homo loquens — humans as the speaking animal; it will indeed be useful instruction if we find this as another area in which humans are not literally unique.
RDE, finishing, 29Oct21 — with thanks to Istvan Csicsery-Ronay