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How Close Are We to Talking With Animals?


We know about apes learning sign language, but what about dolphins typing on an underwater keyboard? Or A.I. machines translating prairie dog chirps? We want to answer how close we are to conversing with the animal kingdom.

How Close Are We: Season 2​

Read More:
Is Language Unique To Humans​
“However, language is more than a process through which meaning is attached to words or short sentences. Language might be described as the ability to take a finite set of elements (such as words), and using a set of rules (grammar and syntax) to create infinite combinations, each of which is comprehensible. Given this definition, it is perhaps not surprising then that cognitive psychologists sometimes speak of a "grammar of action".”

Yes, We Can Communicate with Animals​
“But I assure you, no dog (or ape) will ever learn words, lexigrams or gestures for “bacteria,” “economy” or “atom.” They may be able to hear or see the differences among them, but the concepts they represent are beyond their conceptual capacity. You can’t learn words for things you can’t understand.”

Chirps, whistles, clicks: Do any animals have a true ‘language’?​
“To be considered a true language, there are a few elements that are usually considered to be essential, says Kershenbaum. For one, it must be learned rather than instinctive — both whales and birds have this piece covered. For instance, killer whale calves learn a repertoire of calls from their mothers, and the sounds gradually evolve from erratic screams to adultlike pulsed calls and whistles.”

How close are we to colonizing the moon, mapping the human brain and curing cancer? Join Seeker as we go in search of experts, academics and innovators who are racing to solve some of humanity’s biggest scientific challenges. We’ll dive into the facts and comb through the research to find the answers you’re looking for.

Seeker explains every aspect of our world through a lens of science, inspiring a new generation of curious minds who want to know how today’s discoveries in science, math, engineering and technology are impacting our lives, and shaping our future. Our stories parse meaning from the noise in a world of rapidly changing information.

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