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Dolphin talks to humans – but does he love Toughbook or iPad?

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Dolphins eat fish, kill porpoises for fun, and try, not always successfully, to hide from Japanese fishermen.

In their spare time, they hang out at Seaworld and help scientists in their ceaseless quest to talk to animals. And for animals to talk to humans.

Take Merlin, aged 2, a dolphin, who is helping researcher Jack Krassewitz codify a symbolic language that “will not only allow humans and dolphins to interact more easily but also potentially lead to a universal translator for humans”.

When they are not killing them, humans bore dolphins – too slow and unable to hear much of their chatter. This is where computers can help out.

Jack is trialling some human-dolphin interfaces on the iPad and the Panasonic Toughbook - encased in waterproof bags. At least we think both are encased in waterproof bags – MSNBC, our source, has a lot to say about the iPad ( sexy!) and nothing about the Toughbook (chartered surveyors!).

Early days yet, but Merlin seems to like the iPad. “For him, it was a new toy.”

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