Hungarians unleash dog bark translator

'Oi, Dolittle, throw me a stick'

Hungarian scientists are apparently working on computer software which analyses dog barks and potentially offers people the chance to "better recognise" their mutts' emotions, Reuters reports.

Csaba Molnar and colleagues at Budapest's ELTE University have tested the software on 14 dogs of the Hungarian Mudi herding breed in six situations: when the dog is alone, when it sees a ball, fights, plays, encounters a stranger, or goes for a walk.

The computer "correctly recognised the emotional reaction of the dogs based on their barks and yelps in 43 per cent of the cases", which would be moderately impressive were it not for the fact that mere people had "judged correctly in 40 per cent of cases".

Although the scientists conceded the software "could be improved", Molnar offered: "A possible commercial application could be a device for dog-human communication." ®

Bootnote

The Japanese back in 2002 unleashed the world's first commerical canine translator - the "Bowlingual". Whether it actually worked or not we can't say.

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