Doggie Dialect Interpreted by Computers
HUNGARY – Scientists studying patterns in dog barking have created software that can understand canine communication.
Csaba Molnár from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary and his research team studied 6,000 barks from a group of 14 Hungarian sheep dogs – also known as Mudis.
In order to categorize the barks, different situations were set up in order to elicit specific responses from the animals. In all, fight, alone, ball, stranger, walk and play were derrived from the study.
Researchers say they were able to categorize the animals' sounds with 43 percent accuracy – which they say is leaps and bounds better than humans' ability to interpret those sounds.
The software is also able to determine with 52 percent accuracy the difference between each animals' particular 'voice.'
It isn't clear how such information could be used yet, but scientists have a few hypothises. They say dog owners, trainers and vets could use the technology to diagnose a dog's well being. It would also be a helpful way for dogs to alert their owners of strangers.
None of that is possible yet, but the research shows promise, docs say. Look out for advances in this technology in the future.
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