ARIZONA NEWS

Retired NAU professor working to develop dog translation device

Jan 29, 2018, 4:16 AM
(Flickr/David Locke)...
(Flickr/David Locke)
(Flickr/David Locke)

PHOENIX — Have you ever dreamed that you could communicate with your dog? Well, a retired Northern Arizona University biology professor is trying to make that a reality.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Con Slobodchikoff is working to develop a dog translation device that could “decode a canine’s vocalizations, facial expressions and actions and then tell the human user what the dog is trying to say.”

“The program would synthesize all of it, then tell the person the dog says ‘I want to go for a walk’ or ‘you’re scaring me, back off please,'” Slobodchikoff said.

The publication said the technology would rely on an artificial intelligence program that would “recognize animal sounds and actions through videos and pictures.”

Slobodchikoff said the meaning of those sounds and actions would be interpreted based off of the context of the situation.

So far, the professor said, his idea has been well-recieved, particularly by other people who, like himself, think of their dogs as “thinking, feeling beings and want to respond to them in some way.”

“But they don’t know what their dogs are trying to say to them,” Slobodchikoff said.

“If people had some way of knowing what their dogs are trying to communicate to them, a lot of behavioral problems would be solved,” he said.

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Retired NAU professor working to develop dog translation device