Google Analyzes 15 Years of Whale Song Recordings and What They Discovered Was Stunning

Whale

An Open Book: AI Used to Open the Sounds of the Deep Sea for Discovery by the Public

With millions and millions of miles of ocean and sea creatures we have not even discovered yet, how do you find and analyze specific sounds for scientific investigation? With 170,000 hours of recordings from around the Pacific islands of underwater sounds, it will take humans up to 19 years to scan through it.

That is what was required of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With specific reference to the research into humpback whales, with their very complex songs, it is clear that they acquired more data than we can analyze and during the scanning process, new recordings get added.

og1 Google Analyzes 15 Years of Whale Song Recordings and What They Discovered Was Stunning

NOAA research oceanographer Dr Ann Allen has decided to knock on the door of data specialist, Google, to assist her in finding a way to search this massive database for humpback song sounds. From this info, she hopes that much more can be learned about things the song’s meanings, the location, movement and habits of this complex water-based mammals. All of this is required to protect this species.

The answer Google came up with is obviously the employment of Artificial Intelligence (IA). Together NOAA and Google learned computers to listen for and recognize the whale song patterns and isolate them from others. Not only does this address NOAA’s data problem, but it has also opened up a totally new world of information. What about all the other sounds down deep under?

The world is full of very talented and clever people. What endless possibilities can this information unlock though crowdsourcing, by visualizing of the sounds, which then can be browsed and manipulated by the entire worldwide community?

These questions are hopefully going to be answered soon, as it has lead to the birth of the website, Pattern Radio: Whale Songs, that lets anyone explore thousands of hours of NOAA’s underwater ocean recordings. Unlocking the world of underwater sounds to the world can lead to lots of new discoveries, helping us to understand the mystical sounds from the depth of our oceans. The sea is your oyster.