The app that translates your cat’s meows

    In the future there will be more tools that allow us to communicate with other species.
    Communicating with your cat through a program on your cell phone seems like a concept of the future. However, it is already possible through the Meow Talk app that translates your pet’s meows so that you know if she is hungry, thirsty, afraid or some other sensation.

    According to Fabián Romo Zamudio of the General Directorate of Computing and Information and Communication Technologies (DGTIC) of the UNAM, it is an app that is in its first versions.

    How does it work? Mammals emit certain types of sounds that can express pain, anguish, hunger, thirst, among some others, and this application seeks to recognize them. It’s called machine learning.

    “It basically uses the capabilities of mobile phones for voice recognition and mixes it with patterns that with frequent use of the app can become more precise,” explained the interviewee.

    The concept of machine learning “is nothing new”, has been around for many years, but lately it has become much more popular due to artificial intelligence issues.

    “It is part of the various methodologies used in the field of artificial intelligence, for example, to solve and identify certain types of problems.”

    This type of voice knowledge applications go through a kind of training, where they identify patterns. In this case, the repetition of these sounds: bass tones, treble, extensions, durations and intensities are classified and associated with some type of behavior or feeling. From the cat’s meow or the dog’s bark In some situation of hunger, thirst, anguish or feeling of well-being.

    As this type of sounds is associated with behaviors, “it is much easier for a voice recognition system to better identify the sound with the perception of some feeling.”

    On the other hand, it turns language into something more sophisticated, not only human, but other species.

    “Without a doubt it is a new field of exploration, as well as the sounds of whales, dolphins or some others. I think humans have a lot to learn, develop and research.

    However, attempts of this type are very interesting and are brought to reality based on scientific data and the use of technological tools that lead us to efficient conclusions.

    “In the future, I think there will be tools to identify signs of expression by other species,” he concluded.

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