Scientist Uses AI for Good, Creates a Translator for Chickens

An image of a chicken speaking, something we may now be able to understand with AI

In some unusually positive news regarding things that artificial intelligence is being used for, an Australian scientist has found a way to use AI to communicate with chickens.

Professor Adrian David Cheok claims to have unveiled the hidden language of chickens by decoding their emotional states based on their vocalisations. In other words, he’s built a chicken translator.

“It’s a cluckin’ great leap for science!” Cheok said in a press release.

Translation works by leveraging state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and machine learning models, according to a proof-of-concept study published in Research Square.

The study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, demonstrates the ability to distinguish six distinct emotional states in chickens, including fear, excitement, and hunger.

These findings open doors to a wide range of applications beyond poultry, Cheok claims.

“This is just the beginning. We hope to be able to adapt these AI and ML techniques to other animals and lay the groundwork for incredible intelligence in the various animal-related industries,” he said.

The research introduces a pioneering AI technique known as Deep Emotional Analysis Learning (DEAL). This mathematical approach allows for nuanced comprehension of emotional states based on auditory data.

Cheok worked with a team of eight animal psychologists and veterinary surgeons to understand the emotional states of chickens. They analysed 80 birds, recording over 200 hours of their vocalisations. This data was then fed into an AI, with emotional states deciphered and categorised for the programme. In response, the AI was able to subsequently identify the emotional states of the animals based on new chicken noises.

“This research not only opens up new avenues for understanding and improving animal welfare, but also sets a precedent for further studies in AI-driven interspecies communication,” the team have said.

Chickens are known to be highly social animals and the information could have broad-reaching applications. Animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, and farming could all be improved with these insights, the team claims.

“Humans can look forward to more meaningful interactions with chickens,” the team write, certainly playing to the crowd.

“If we know what animals are feeling, we can design a much better world for them,” Cheok said.

This isn’t the first somewhat bizarre invention the Adelaide-born Professor has been engaged in. In 2005, he invented a jacket to allow people to remotely hug chickens. He is also the Chairman of the Love and Sex with Robots Conference and advocates for having sex with robots.

Cheok has also published a book extolling the virtues of former US President Donald Trump designed for children. In 2018 he ran for federal election as part of Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party after being kicked out of Clive Palmer’s Australia Party for being too ‘radical’.

At least the chickens are, as yet, free from subjugation to similar political rhetoric.

Related: Robots Are People, Too: Why Making AI Out of Human Brain Tissue Has Experts Concerned

Related: Setting Up a Chicken Coop at Home Takes Only 3 Simple Steps

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