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Dolphin Click Algorithms

December 13, 2017

Machine learning algorithms like those used by social media companies can classify dolphin echolocation clicks.

Transcript

IMG_4925 Amanda Debich

(Amanda Debich)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Classifying dolphin voices. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

(bottlenose dolphin clicks and whistles)

These echolocation clicks and whistles are just a taste of the vast number of sounds made by dolphins across the world’s oceans every day. To make sense of all of these signals, scientists have developed algorithms similar to those that analyze  relationships between social media users.

KAIT FRASIER (UC San Diego):

We’re trying to use those same types of algorithms to identify different dolphins in the wild.

HIRSHON:

Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Kaitlin Frasier and her team recorded millions of dolphin echolocation clicks in the Gulf of Mexico. Her team reports in PLOS Computational Biology that the algorithm successfully classified at least seven different types of clicks from a variety of species. Frasier says the tool will help monitor ocean health in addition to the dolphins. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard

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