Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

These ads will disappear if you register on the forum

Photo

If Humans Developed a "Universal Translator"-Like Device For Dolphins...


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

    Droogie

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,333 posts
  • LocationUSA

I'm most intrigued about what we'd learn from dolphins. So say we do manage to decipher dolphin language and do the same for vice-versa. How would human culture react if we, say, proved that humans and dolphins- without a shadow of a doubt- are equals in intellect? (Hint: It could be good practice for a Post-Singularity type situation with machines?)


Edited by The Young Homo Maximus, 20 February 2013 - 06:43 PM.

"The view of the world from your computer screen must be great to form such strong views about something with no prior first hand experience." ~Brohanne Jahms

 

#2
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,291 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

Not much probably. They have no actual culure or civilisation, so you'd pretty much could have conversation similar to one you can have with 1-2 year old uneducated kid I'd suppose.

 

Make no mistake - it would be fascinating and probably with intelectual stimulation coming from human such dolphin could probably reach higher level and be great companion/friend. But I wouldn't expect to actually learn something from them. Unless they could give us unique perspective on some things. Like how would dolphin describe some object or device that's new to him. We could also learn much about our and their brains from comparision between two.


"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#3
Italian Ufo

Italian Ufo

    Member Since August 23 /2010

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,322 posts

What about killer whales?  I think there is lot to know about them.

 

 

I would like to understand this beahviour better...why do they bring a sea lion back to shore?

 

This and many other behaviours of killer whales are still to be understood

 

for example how do they exchange information?


Edited by Italian Ufo, 20 February 2013 - 08:57 PM.

                                                                       

#4
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Actually, there is plenty of research done in the area. If my startup gets sold, I'm going to venture there myself, trying to pry it with a combination of information theory and some home-made tools. 

 

The brains of dolphins started growing faster since 35 million years ago (can't find the source, sorry), which means, earlier than our ancestors the great apes. The overall consensus is that despite the fact that they don't use tools (actually, they do, but only rudimentary ones), the dolphins' social lives are as complex as those of humans. 

 

I remember one researcher was saying, "Socially, they have nothing to learn from us". Basically, imagine if the men would not develop tools but instead develop social organisation. 

 

It's been established that:

  • bottlenose dolphins have "signature whistles" (or names, if you will) for each other
  • they were taught to understand some human language and managed to deduce some grammar rules (when object / subject were swapped)
  • entropy test of the bottlenose dolphins' whistles yields results very similar to those of human speech. (In a nutshell, entropy signatures are used to distinguish between different types of information; they are used pretty much universally.)
  • they demonstrate some of the traits which are less common among animals (e.g. cruelty to some other species and sometimes each other, or altuism on the opposite, sex for recreation rather than procreation, homosexuality)

It has not been established that the language they use is categorical like human or can refer to abstract entities. Some researchers claim it is the case, but there are no proofs. I am, however, inclined to believe this is the case, because of the entropy test, and since the dolphins demonstrated the ability to learn categorical language, and because they use names. 

 

Worth looking at. It is difficult though because they communicate in ultrasound whistles and clicks. 


  • Raklian likes this

#5
Italian Ufo

Italian Ufo

    Member Since August 23 /2010

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,322 posts
Actually, there is plenty of research done in the area. If my startup gets sold, I'm going to venture there myself, trying to pry it with a combination of information theory and some home-made tools. 

 

The brains of dolphins started growing faster since 35 million years ago (can't find the source, sorry), which means, earlier than our ancestors the great apes. The overall consensus is that despite the fact that they don't use tools (actually, they do, but only rudimentary ones), the dolphins' social lives are as complex as those of humans. 

 

I remember one researcher was saying, "Socially, they have nothing to learn from us". Basically, imagine if the men would not develop tools but instead develop social organisation. 

 

It's been established that:

  • bottlenose dolphins have "signature whistles" (or names, if you will) for each other
  • they were taught to understand some human language and managed to deduce some grammar rules (when object / subject were swapped)
  • entropy test of the bottlenose dolphins' whistles yields results very similar to those of human speech. (In a nutshell, entropy signatures are used to distinguish between different types of information; they are used pretty much universally.)
  • they demonstrate some of the traits which are less common among animals (e.g. cruelty to some other species and sometimes each other, or altuism on the opposite, sex for recreation rather than procreation, homosexuality)

It has not been established that the language they use is categorical like human or can refer to abstract entities. Some researchers claim it is the case, but there are no proofs. I am, however, inclined to believe this is the case, because of the entropy test, and since the dolphins demonstrated the ability to learn categorical language, and because they use names. 

 

Worth looking at. It is difficult though because they communicate in ultrasound whistles and clicks. 

 

Do you know about some studys on killerwhales?


                                                                       

#6
Kombaticus

Kombaticus

    Bringer of Dookie

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 672 posts

Dolphin:  "Fish!  Fish!"


"Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and I am content." -Conan the Cimmerian


#7
Craven

Craven

    Elephant in the forest

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,291 posts
  • LocationPoland, Cracow

 

Couldn't stop myself...


Edited by Craven, 20 February 2013 - 10:37 PM.

  • Italian Ufo and Practical Mind like this
"I walk alone and do no evil, having only a few wishes, just like an elephant in the forest."

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone."

#8
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

@Italian UFO: There is a crowdsourcing effort to identify and make discreet the calls emitted by the killer whales, among others: http://whale.fm and here is a more general Wikipedia primer on the cetacean intelligence: http://en.wikipedia....an_intelligence - but the bottlenose dolphins are considered the most intelligent species of the cetaceans (or animals in general, barring humans). 

 

@Kombaticus: The great differentiator is whether the "Fish! Fish!" is uttered when there is a fish in sight only (and then it's merely a variety of "there! there!"), or when it is not in sight. If it is a reference to a non-present entity, then it is a real categorical language. (Not necessarily the Indo-European variety with parts of speech and words, but nevertheless, a language.) Then the translator is feasible and usable (not that there were issues training dolphins for military purposes). 



#9
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Here is a handful of popular science articles (backed by peer-reviewed papers though): 
 
 
Human-dolphin communication is one step closer: New marine speaker can recreate the animals' clicks and whistles

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz2LTxwQx6s
(Sadly, the device does not allow understanding, it's merely a phrasebook for parroting known patterns)
 
Dolphins Talk Like Humans
 
http://news.discover...mans-110906.htm
 
 

...In terms of what the dolphins are communicating, it's known they share information about their identity, helping them to stay connected even while traveling in vast bodies of water.

Acoustics engineer John Stuart Reid and Jack Kassewitz of the organization Speak Dolphin have created an instrument known as the CymaScope that reveals detailed structures within sounds, allowing their architecture to be studied pictorially.

 
This one has a bit sensationalist headline but merely reaffirms the findings of the others:

Dolphins Use Diplomacy in Their Communication, Biologists Find

Until now, the scientific community had thought that whistles were the main sounds made by these mammals, and were unaware of the importance and use of burst-pulsed sounds. Researchers from the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI), based in Sardinia (Italy) have now shown that these sounds are vital to the animals' social life and mirror their behaviour.

"Burst-pulsed sounds are used in the life of bottlenose dolphins to socialise and maintain their position in the social hierarchy in order to prevent physical conflict, and this also represents a significant energy saving," Bruno Díaz, lead author of the study and a researcher at the BDRI, which he also manages, said.

 
http://www.scienceda...00609094355.htm
 


  • Craven likes this

#10
StanleyAlexander

StanleyAlexander

    Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 909 posts
  • LocationBoston, Tomorrow

I think dolphins and some other animals (e.g. honeybees) have a greater level of intelligence than most of us give them credit for, and there is probably a lot we can learn from them, but only by scientifically studying them--not by listening to the substance of what they would tell us if we could understand them.

 

There's a crucial intelligence threshold that only humans have crossed.  While dolphins have what you could call "language," it's not quite the same as it is in humans: only human language is truly infinite.  We also are the only animals to have developed memetic evolution, and therefore technology (this is why although dolphins and apes and some birds use tools they cannot be said to have technology).


Humanity's destiny is infinity

#11
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

I agree about the intelligence of bees and other animals (and I think today very few share Pavlov's stance that the majority of animals are dumb automatons), but I disagree about the uniqueness of the human language. 

 

Effective communication is, just like claws and teeth, a tool developed by the evolution. It's strange that these guys claim that uniqueness while admitting the limited understanding of the animal languages. Communication must be efficient enough to relate to the concepts and entities encountered in real life. Sure, dolphins don't build spaceships and nuclear power plants, so they have no concepts for them, but so are the tribes in Amazon. Some of them don't have numbers beyond four. That does not mean that the communication system is not scalable enough to handle these. The only great divide is between virtually "pointing a finger" at something and saying "this" and coming up with a shared set of signals to refer to it. 

 

I remember seeing a description of a programming language called "brainf*k" which had, I think, 2 or 4 operators. "Hello world" program took 4 pages :-) but it still worked, you know. 



#12
StanleyAlexander

StanleyAlexander

    Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 909 posts
  • LocationBoston, Tomorrow
I agree about the intelligence of bees and other animals (and I think today very few share Pavlov's stance that the majority of animals are dumb automatons), but I disagree about the uniqueness of the human language. 

 

Effective communication is, just like claws and teeth, a tool developed by the evolution. It's strange that these guys claim that uniqueness while admitting the limited understanding of the animal languages. Communication must be efficient enough to relate to the concepts and entities encountered in real life. Sure, dolphins don't build spaceships and nuclear power plants, so they have no concepts for them, but so are the tribes in Amazon. Some of them don't have numbers beyond four. That does not mean that the communication system is not scalable enough to handle these. The only great divide is between virtually "pointing a finger" at something and saying "this" and coming up with a shared set of signals to refer to it. 

 

I remember seeing a description of a programming language called "brainf*k" which had, I think, 2 or 4 operators. "Hello world" program took 4 pages :-) but it still worked, you know. 

I hear what you're saying, we definitely don't know enough about the social interactions among other animals to judge whether dolphin clicks and tweets actually represent open-ended communication.

 

But the key difference between evolutionary developments like teeth and true, open-ended language is that language enables evolution to occur on a higher level--memetically, rather than just genetically--as evidenced by all of human history.  I think if other animals were actually able to communicate an infinity of memes, the way humans can, we would observe true memetic evolution.  But we don't see that--hence my conclusion that their language is not infinite.


Humanity's destiny is infinity

#13
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

A very interesting idea. 

 

Language indeed takes sociality on the whole new level. But the reason for the "evolution not happening" (I guess you mean technology here?) also might be that, say, dolphins cannot use tools. This might require certain physical attributes, like spare appendages not used in locomotion. 


  • Zeitgeist123 likes this

#14
Italian Ufo

Italian Ufo

    Member Since August 23 /2010

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,322 posts

Guys can we talk more about  Orcas intelligence and communication?  look at this video...it is pretty impressive.

 

 


Edited by Italian Ufo, 22 February 2013 - 02:56 AM.

                                                                       

#15
StanleyAlexander

StanleyAlexander

    Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 909 posts
  • LocationBoston, Tomorrow
A very interesting idea. 

 

Language indeed takes sociality on the whole new level. But the reason for the "evolution not happening" (I guess you mean technology here?) also might be that, say, dolphins cannot use tools. This might require certain physical attributes, like spare appendages not used in locomotion. 

By "evolution not happening" in dolphins (or orcas :)), I meant the evolution of memes, or ideas--the kind of evolution that is passed down verbally, and can evolve with every telling.

 

A good idea can take the form of an invention or technology, though it doesn't have to--technology is more of an example of what I mean.  The key is that every time the idea is communicated to an individual who understands it, the idea changes a little bit because the new observer has her own perspective of it.

 

This change is analogous to genetic mutation in natural selection; however, while natural selection operates over hundreds of thousands of years, memetic evolution happens in what we think of as "real time": months and days (and on the internet, minutes and seconds).  That's why I say memetic evolution represents a higher level of evolution than genetic.

 

I do agree that another prerequisite for developing technology is a way of directly and proficiently manipulating your environment.  Our hands (particularly our thumbs) are uniquely awesome.  But again, I see technology as a bonus, ancillary to the deeper power of an infinite language that enables memetic evolution.


  • Italian Ufo likes this
Humanity's destiny is infinity

#16
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia
@Italian UFO: thanks for the video. Unless during the evolution the orcas developed special collective memory about how to make a seal slide from a floating ice piece, I would say this implies they do communicate and distribute orders. OK, one can say that an alpha started an action and others followed, but then, they brought reinforcements, so it does not seem like parroting others' actions. It could be a combination, like they may have signals "come here" and "follow my lead" but that still means that some of them know to plan and manage groups. @StanleyAlexander: I see what you mean (I think :-) ). But if you separate the meme from technology or using tools, how do you know they do not have memes? Maybe they do, but the propagation is slow.
  • Italian Ufo likes this

#17
Practical Mind

Practical Mind

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • LocationAustralia

A bit more about that crowdsourcing project. Interesting, the scientists are trying to find out whether the killer whales have dialects:

St Andrews scientists ask if whales have 'dialects'

http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-fife-15929295
 

Members of the public are being asked by scientists at the University of St Andrews to help them investigate the way whales communicate.

So-called "citizen scientists" from across the world are being urged to listen to and help classify sounds made by the mammals.

The St Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit is part of the Whale Project - a global effort to categorise whale calls.

It aims to establish whether calls vary between different groups of whales.

Edited by Practical Mind, 22 February 2013 - 07:48 AM.

  • Italian Ufo likes this

#18
Zeitgeist123

Zeitgeist123

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,380 posts

this is why i think bottle-nosed dolphins should be classified as a non-human person and therefore, be eligible for some basic human rights.


Edited by Zeitgeist123, 22 February 2013 - 02:50 PM.

The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously...

#19
Zeitgeist123

Zeitgeist123

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,380 posts

A bit more about that crowdsourcing project. Interesting, the scientists are trying to find out whether the killer whales have dialects:

St Andrews scientists ask if whales have 'dialects'

http://www.bbc.co.uk...t-fife-15929295
 

Members of the public are being asked by scientists at the University of St Andrews to help them investigate the way whales communicate.

So-called "citizen scientists" from across the world are being urged to listen to and help classify sounds made by the mammals.

The St Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit is part of the Whale Project - a global effort to categorise whale calls.

It aims to establish whether calls vary between different groups of whales.

 or they can simply have distinctive hertz... 

The loneliest whale in the world, the 52-Hertz whale, sings a song no other whale will answer and travels the oceans alone..

 

http://earthsky.org/...loneliest-whale

 

 A lonely whale of unknown species has been swimming the Earth’s seas for years, ostracized from its own kind thanks to an inability to communicate. Not that it doesn’t try. It does. But the whale sings in a sound frequency that is so high, no other whales will respond. In the language of whales, it’s like speaking Klingon anywhere on Earth outside a Star Trek convention.


  • Italian Ufo likes this
The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously...

#20
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

    Droogie

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,333 posts
  • LocationUSA
Guys can we talk more about  Orcas intelligence and communication?  look at this video...it is pretty impressive.

 

 

I had intended for this topic to be 'If Humans Developed a "Universal Translator For Dolphins And Whales", but I forgot which species it was that had a monstrously high communication intelligence and just went with dolphins.


"The view of the world from your computer screen must be great to form such strong views about something with no prior first hand experience." ~Brohanne Jahms

 




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users