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FT Tech Tonic

Can AI help us speak to animals? Part one

Season 8, Ep. 1

A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence is enabling researchers to listen in to all kinds of conversations outside the human hearing range, a field known as bioacoustics. Some scientists now believe these developments will also allow us to ‘translate’ animal sounds into human language. In a new season of Tech Tonic, FT innovation editor John Thornhill and series producer Persis Love ask whether we’re moving closer to being able to ‘speak whale’ or even to chat with bats.


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Credits: Sperm whale sounds from Project CETI; honeyhunter calls from Claire Spottiswoode

Presented by John Thornhill, produced by Persis Love, sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. The executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Cheryl Brumley is the FT’s head of audio.


Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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