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Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk (2016) (smithsonianmag.com)
28 points by bschne 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

During my time studying bats we used anabat detectors https://www.titley-scientific.com/us/products/anabat-systems...

To record bat echolocation and visually analyze the waveforms to determine the species and type of call. Different species echolocate at different frequencies and the calls they make when they're travelling, searching for prey and diving to eat all look different from each other and different between species.

A bat translator could have been useful to me when a bat entered my flat at 3 a.m. a few weeks back...

Human social behaviour is pretty solid evidence for the fact that merely speaking the same language won't guarantee satisfactory conflict resolution ;-)

True. Still wouldn't hurt to try politely before opening the largest window and tooling up a yoga mat and try baseball for the second time in my life. And yes, now I do regret not filming it...

Maybe off-topic, but the article says they used a modified machine learning algorithm to nap bat calls to activities and from that developed a translator.

With the improvements to machine translation without parallelism data and voices-to-voice translation, how stupid is the idea that we might someday be able to take enough bat calls and human speech, and create a true translation system? obviously assumes the bats got something vaguely resembling a language we can translate from.

i.e., a bat phone.

> not just random, as previously thought

Who would think that an animal would just make random noises?

That just ridiculous.

They’re probably having a good laugh about how much better they dealt with COVID-19 than us humans

Ok now how do we start a civil war between them? Let them fight each other to extinction.

The bats around where I live, in the Northeastern US, eat a lot of mosquitoes. I'd like them to stay around.

Sounds like bats need their own Twitter.

This was actually posted on Marginal Revolution today with the exact preface "Let's not give them twitter"


probably accusing each other of not wearing a mask :-P

I can just imagine the bat cave now..., "ROOOOBBIN!! You haven't taken out the rubbish!"

"Nah! It was your turn you big bully!"

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