AI may help us understand what cats say | Inquirer Technology

AI may help us understand what cats say

08:00 AM November 08, 2023

Scientists say they could use artificial intelligence to determine what cats say based on facial expressions. Various works found felines make 276 facial expressions when interacting with other cats. Experts believe AI could link those behaviors with specific stimuli like sounds and bodily functions. Soon, it may help us understand our whiskered pals further.

Animals are similar to humans because they often react unpredictably to various things. Artificial intelligence is great at spotting and plotting patterns, so it may help us make sense of fauna. Soon, it may help conservationists and farmers take care of animals. Also, it might help you communicate with your favorite pointy-eared buddy!

This article will discuss how scientists will conduct their AI cat communication experiments. Then, I will show their project is possible by elaborating on a similar endeavor.


How would AI cat translation work?

Visual representation of the process through which AI translates cat communication.

Many scientists have been documenting cat facial expressions, such as Daniel Mills, a veterinary behavioral medicine professor at the University of Lincoln. He believes artificial intelligence may help us decipher their meanings. 


“We could use AI to teach us a lot about what animals are trying to say to us,” he said. Also, MIlls’ study’s co-author, Dr. Brittany Florkiewicz, explained the challenge they face.

“The facial expressions they produce towards humans look different from those produced towards cats,” she stated. Fortunately, Mills believes the newest technologies could help organize them.

“As this paper suggests, there is a much greater richness in cat expressions than we appreciate, and what AI is good at is classifying images,” he stated. Mills believes he could teach AI to identify specific characteristics like ear position. 

Unlike humans, cats move their ears when expressing themselves. The Guardian said scientists may also enable artificial intelligence to develop new classification rules. 

The latter presents different problems, but MIlls claims it could offer fresh insights. “It could highlight the rules it uses to distinguish data sets, which can show us where to look for the best way to distinguish certain expressions.”

You may also like: How to use CatGPT


You must train AI systems before they can perform a specific purpose. That means providing them with massive amounts of data related to your objective.

Fortunately, the Internet has a nearly endless supply of cat photos and images for AI training. Nowadays, Mills and other scientists are testing AI to understand other animals like dogs, horses, and cows.

It’s cool to use this AI cat communication method to understand our pets. However, scientists also want to use it for other purposes like animal welfare. For example, they plan to screen cow faces for signs of pain so that farmers may check them immediately.

Is there another similar AI project?

Image showing a related AI project in the realm of cat communication.

As mentioned, many have been testing whether artificial intelligence could help us understand animals. You may think that includes livestock and pets, but you may have never guessed people will use it on whales. 

Yet, that is the goal of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Project. David Gruber and his SETI colleagues tried to create an AI whale translator

They chose these massive aquatic creatures because of their complex communication systems. Also, they communicate with 2-second clicks called codas, which match the noises of human language. They formed the Cetacean Translation Initiative, which will use the following steps:

You may also like: Aussie researchers to test Koala facial recognition

  1. SETI will deploy buoyed sensor arrays to locate and record whales.
  2. Next, they will attach recording devices to whales to identify who’s talking to whom.
  3. Also, the researchers will deploy aquatic drones to observe these gigantic sea creatures.
  4. SETI will also deploy aerial drones to monitor whales.

This project will collect enormous amounts of data that will take ages to analyze and match with human language. Hence, Gruber and his team will use a large language model like GPT-3.

It contains millions of words that it could match to whale codas. As a result, the whale researchers hope it will help them understand and communicate with these majestic creatures.


Scientists believe artificial intelligence could help us understand cats. Our feline friends have similar facial expressions that AI could link to specific stimuli.

As a result, AI cat communication could help us understand our furry buddies and enhance animal welfare. However, its results would likely need more research and development. 

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Of course, understanding artificial intelligence will help you follow its progress. See how this technology is transforming the world by following Inquirer Tech.

TOPICS: AI, cat, interesting topics, Trending
TAGS: AI, cat, interesting topics, Trending

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.