Can AI help us speak to animals? Part two

A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence has convinced some scientists that humans will eventually be able to ‘translate’ animal and even plant sounds into human language. But what would be the consequences of humans learning to ‘speak whale’, chat with bats or converse with elephants? The FT’s innovation editor John Thornhill and producer Persis Love explore the ethics of potential human-to-animal communication.

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.

Free links:

Google Translate for the zoo? How humans might talk to animals

Karen Bakker, scientist and author, 1971-2023

How generative AI really works

Credits: Elephant bee rumble from Lucy King; plant sounds from Lilach Hadany

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