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A Google Translate For The Animal Kingdom?

Wouldn’t you like to understand your dog when he barks at the mailman? Or your cat when she scratches your arm? 

A group of researchers are looking to use machine learning to translate animal "languages" into something humans can understand — and they want to apply it to the whole animal kingdom, not just pets.

A pretty ambitious plan! 

As The Guardian reports, California-based nonprofit Earth Species Project (ESP) — which was founded in 2017 with the help of Silicon Valley investors like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman — plans to first decode animal communication via machine learning, and then make its findings available to all.

ESP co-founder and president Aza Raskin says they are looking to help humans communicate with, or at least understand, as many species as possible.

But why? 

Animals are free migrants, they can carry information and resources around the world. So in essence they are sitting on a huge treasure of information that could help human progression. 

Until recently, decoding has mostly relied on painstaking observation. But interest has burgeoned in applying machine learning to deal with the huge amounts of data that can now be collected by modern animal-borne sensors.

Is this even possible?

The simple answer is Yes.

Like humans, animals also have various forms of non-verbal communication, like bees doing a special "wiggle dance" to indicate to each other that they should land on a specific flower. The translation algorithms the ESP is developing are designed to "work across all of biology, from worms to whales.

This is English. The above geometric structure—known technically as a "latent space"—can be used to translate languages without dictionaries and without examples of translation.

And despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges, ESP has made some progress.

An experimental algorithm developed by ESP can purportedly detect which individual in a noisy group of animals is “speaking." A second algorithm reportedly can generate mimicked animal calls to "talk" directly to them. A further project aims to develop an algorithm that ascertains how many call types a species has at its command.

They’re not the only ones doing this though…

Elodie Briefer, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen co-developed an algorithm that analyses pig grunts to tell whether the animal is experiencing a positive or negative emotion. Another, called DeepSqueak, judges whether rodents are in a stressed state based on their ultrasonic calls. A further initiative – Project CETI – plans to use machine learning to translate the communication of sperm whales.

The CETI Method

A Google Translate For The Animal Kingdom?

It may seem unlikely for a creative professional to fetch a six or seven-figure salary.

Well, a new recent industry survey suggests otherwise. According to the research conducted by job matching portal Creatively, designers working for American companies are now commanding an average of $88 per hour or $156,000 a year—an impressive 40% bump compared to last year’s rates.

But there’s a crucial nuance to these findings. The word ‘creative’ is a broad umbrella. The real income one fetches is highly dependent on one’s specialization. 

In the current market though, all skill related or useful to Web3 are selling like hot cakes. Designers adept in emerging technologies such as Web 3 and Metaverse can earn an average of $312,000 a year. In fact, Metaverse job listings have grown by 379% since October 2021, according to recent research from Adzuna, a job search engine.

Meanwhile, those still engaged in traditional arts such as copywriting, graphic designing, and editorial earn much less.

Invest in Yourself Before You Invest in Anything Else
Most people go on autopilot at some point in your career. They become stagnant. To truly maximize your wealth, you must maximize your income, and to do that, you must provide value to yourself.

More Money, Less Business

Federal agencies hit a new milestone in 2021 after awarding $154.2 billion in contracts to small businesses in the last fiscal year. That figure, which was $8.5 billion higher compared to FY2020, amounts to roughly 27% of the total number of federal contracts awarded by the government. 

Despite such great feat in dollars, the overall number of small contractors has dwindled. In FY2021, sixty-five thousand small businesses received contracts, down about 40% over the last decade, according to SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. 

One of the major issues behind this phenomenon, the SBA says, is the practice of consolidating multiple similar contracts, which makes the final awarded contracts so large that small and medium-sized businesses cannot take them on.

Furthermore, the amount of contracting dollars awarded to women-owned small businesses also fell short of the SBA's stated 5% goal for the year. In FY2021, the spending among this group clocked in at 4.63%, from 4.85% the year prior. 

On a brighter note though...

Small disadvantaged business spending hit 11% for the first time during the last fiscal year. Federal agencies also shelled out $72 billion to small business sub-contractors over that same period.

Shorts ⏳
Talk to MetaMan - Meta is letting the U.S. public talk to its new state-of-the-art chatbot to collect feedback. And the responses are funny

Chorizo to Centauri - A French scientist tweeted an image of what people thought was “Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun”. Turns out it was a piece of chorizo.

IRA - the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that will primarily affect energy, taxes, and healthcare. 

Death in a Truck - Reports of UPS drivers hospitalized and collapsing are rolling in as UPS trucks internal temperatures allegedly touch 160℉ 

Taking the First Left - Gustavo Petro was sworn in as Colombia’s first leftist president.

Lights Out - Google faced a worldwide outage as users complained about maps, gmail and search engine being down. 

Gamers UnReality - Players of “War Thunder,” a popular war game have posted confidential military documents from Britain, France and China online to make the game "more realistic".

Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
🎎 AffiseA fundraising platform for connecting with affiliates, exchanging information with them, and establishing new business relationships.

💨 Drift: A great lead generation and marketing automation tool that helps to get new leads with amazing features.

🕴 FoundersBetaA global network of entrepreneurs, digital startup founders, thinkers, and change-makers.

🔩 SaaS Founders ClubA global real-time community for the SaaS Founders and experts to share knowledge, experiences and advice. 

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