Yesterday morning when me and my fiancé woke up, we opened the door to her cat Bell Bell walking in just a talking. She'd meow then rub up against my leg and meow some more. The meows sounded happy so we figured she was just happy that we were awake. But what was she really saying? Of course we really don't know but wouldn't it be cool if we did? A research team at the University of Texas at Arlington is hoping to do just that, not with cats but with dogs.

My Dog Buddy

It's been a few years since my black lab Buddy passed away. One thing I will always remember about him is the "conversations" we would have. He would communicate in either barks, playful growls or just a loving lick on the hand. I always thought how cool it would be if I knew exactly what he was saying. He obviously had a way to know what I was saying because of the various commands I taught him.

In the movie Up, Carl and Russell meet a dog named Doug. He is equipped with a collar that can translate his thoughts into speech. Of course this made people wish even more that they could understand what their dog was saying.

Doug from Pixar's Up - Pixar via YouTube
Doug from Pixar's Up - Pixar via YouTube
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University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington computer science department has received a $483,804 grant from the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates to use AI to hopefully translate what a dog's bark may mean. They will use dog bark data and analyze for patterns in that bark to determine if there is a language for dogs. Their hope is that AI can learn to translate a dog's language so we can communicate with them one day (WFAA).

If this can done with dogs, whose to say they can't find a way to do it with cats or birds or any other animals we like to have as pets. Could be some cool stuff here.

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