June 28, 2024 at 9:21 am

Artificial Intelligence Is Able To Decode A Dog’s Bark Into 14 Different Emotions

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

Everyone who loves dogs would also love to be able to understand what their vocalizations mean.

And while we might think we can hear a happy bark or a nervous bark or a warning bark, we’re really just working off instinct.

This AI program claims to have decoded canine bark language, though, and can tell us exactly what that woof means.

The study has yet to be peer reviewed, but the authors say that by recording the barks, growls, howls, and whimpers of 74 dogs exposed to a variety of scenarios, they identified 14 different types of vocalizations.

These include “positive squeals,” “sadness/anxiety barking,” and “very aggressive barking at a stranger.”

AI model Wav2Vec2 was then trained on the sounds before being challenged to identify them.

Source: Shutterstock

The AI was trained on human speech before being introduced to dog vocalizations, and it managed to successfully identify specific dogs in 50% of trials.

The models that didn’t learn human speech first were only accurate with dog sounds at a 24% rate.

Author Rada Mihalcea issued a statement about why this is important.

“Our results show that the sounds and patterns derived from human speech can serve as a foundation for analyzing and understanding the acoustic patterns of other sounds, such as animal vocalizations.”

The model was also able to distinguish between different dog breeds with some success – up to 75% of the time when it came to chihuahuas.

Researchers challenged the model to match the animals’ vocalizations to one of the 14 types of sound listed by researchers.

The success rate was 62.2%, although they had an easier time with some categories than others.

It was able to identify 90.7% of negative grunts as opposed to only 45.26% of negative squeals.

“There is so much we don’t yet know about the animals that share this world with us. Advances in AI can be used to revolutionize our understanding of animal communication, and our findings suggest that we may not have to start from scratch.”

Source: Shutterstock

They think this will prove it’s important for AI to learn human speech first.

“By using speech processing models initially trained on human speech, our research opens a new window into how we can leverage what we built so far in speech processing to start understanding the nuances of dog barks.”

This is pretty cool, honestly.

And a fun use of AI – unless you’re a dog trainer or behavioralist.

If so, your days could be numbered.

Thought that was fascinating? Here’s another story you might like: Why You’ll Never See A Great White Shark In An Aquarium