Scientists are busy working on a "pet translator" that could let their owners communicate with their dogs and cats. Researchers from Northern Arizona University believe that by using artificial intelligence to analyse vocalisations and facial expressions, they'll have the tech ready in under a decade.
Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, a professor emeritus of biology at the university and his team have been working with prairie dogs for about 30 years. They found that the high-pitched calls they make to warn each other of predators vary depending on which type of predator it is.
“I thought, if we can do this with prairie dogs, we can certainly do it with dogs and cats,” Slobodchikoff told NBC News.
Slobodchikoff’s team is currently working on assembling thousands of hours of video of dogs barking so that the computer and AI can analyse the different sounds made by the animals as well as the facial expressions made by them. Over time, the algorithm will be able to make out what these different noises mean and when they're made and translate them for humans.
The main goal for the team is to create a device that can translate what your dog wants - so his barks makes more sense to humans.
Although it's unlikely that humans will ever be able to communicate on complex topics with dogs, a research has showed they have a much greater emotional intelligence than they are given credit for.
The research says that our tendency to look at dogs like they are children means that we also underestimate them. Studies have shown that dogs do not like being hugged – as animals they want to be able to move freely.