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AI Helps Scientists Eavesdrop on Endangered Pink Dolphin

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The boto (Inia geoffrensis), also known as the pink river dolphin.

The AI was trained to identify three types of sound: dolphin, rainfall, and boat engines.

Credit: Sylvain Cordier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to map the movements of two endangered species of dolphin in the Amazon River by training a neural network to recognize the animals' unique clicks and whistles.

The findings, published in Scientific Reports on 27 July1, could lead to better conservation strategies by helping researchers to build an accurate picture of the dolphins' movements across a vast area of rainforest that becomes submerged each year after the rainy season.

Using sound is much less invasive than conventional tracking techniques, such as the use of GPS tags, boats or aerial drones.

"Sound is probably the only sense that we know of that we all share on Earth," says co-author Michel André, a bioacoustician at the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.

From Nature
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