AI for Interspecies Communication


Supported By

Can artificial intelligence help connect Earth’s species by providing new channels for interspecies communication? With AI tools to interpret non-human communication and facilitate interaction, we could unlock opportunities for interspecies collaboration and biodiversity conservation.

Science Leads: Maddie Cusimano and Sara Keen

The Projects

Browse the participating projects

A benchmark toward an end-to-end machine learning system for acoustic monitoring wildlife populations and ecosystems

Current passive acoustic monitoring datasets focus on single species, limiting their use for conservation...

Can we decode orca communication with innovative approaches?

Killer whales represent a striking example of communicative complexity in the animal kingdom, yet a thorough...

Can we decipher vocalizations of parrots in a complex social network?

Parrots can "talk" like humans. However, whether their complex vocalizations follow syntactic rules and...

Interspecies variation in the organization of natural animal behavior

All species on earth abide by the same rules of behavior. We eat, sleep, build homes, and build community...

Can we identify and count manatees by their calls?

Due to the recent decline in Florida manatee populations, accurate population assessments are crucial. Current...

Why do distantly related bird species respond to one another's vocalizations?

The project primarily focuses on identifying specific acoustic signatures that trigger responses from congeneric...

Sensing canine behavior from an edge ML-driven haptic interface

Edge machine learning refers to the process of running embedded ML models on site using devices capable...

How can studying Black-Tailed Prairie Dog communication inform interspecies design to facilitate conservation efforts?

BLIND, a prairie dog observation structure located in Ogallala, Nebraska, overlooks a Black-Tailed Prairie...

CetaSim: using a game engine to simulate sperm whales and their world

AI-driven interspecies communication projects to decode the vocalizations of sperm whales are underway...

What is the vocal repertoire of the Egyptian Fruit Bat?

Advances on audio ML have spurred improvements in bioacoustics and open possibilities for automatically...

What types of sculptural visualisations of Beluga whales communications latent representations are the most engaging?

AI allows humans to study the conversations of other species. It forages in bio-acoustic datasets for patterns...

How accurate is lyrebird vocal mimicry?

Lyrebirds are some of the world’s best vocal mimics and can accurately copy dozens of species in their Australian...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
Submission Deadline:
Oct 12, 2023
Campaign Launch:
Aug 11, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

Projects can be submitted now!

When will the grant be awarded?

On October 22nd at 5PM PT, the prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

The emerging field of AI for interspecies communication presents remarkable opportunities to reshape our understanding of other species and ourselves, and to reimagine how we relate to one another. By leveraging AI’s capabilities to scale to complex and diverse datasets, we can potentially decode the communication systems of various species on Earth. This field holds the promise of not only enhancing our comprehension of non-human behavior and cognition, but also enabling the development of more effective conservation strategies.

Earth Species Project (ESP) is a research non-profit focused on developing artificial intelligence to advance our understanding of non-human communication. ESP is excited to support research in this interdisciplinary space. We’re looking for projects that expand our understanding of the world and inspire wonder. We encourage foundational research projects, creative explorations, and conservation applications. These might include dataset design, collection and processing for AI, field studies of interspecies communication, or developing new AI methods to investigate non-human signals or to facilitate interaction between species. This might also extend to utilizing AI to simulate the sensory experiences of non-human species, fostering a deeper understanding of their perceptions and interactions with their environment. We would love to be surprised.

ROLLING SUBMISSIONS: The goal of this small, fast grant program is to get these projects off the ground quickly. If selected, the grant (up to $10,000 — the average Science Engine grant is $4,000) towards an ongoing Experiment project. Project leads are encouraged to try to raise additional support from the crowdfunding process, as granted amounts may only cover part of the project funds. The sooner you fill out a project application the better (use the "start a project" link below). In addition to funding, we hope to stay engaged with the projects as mentors and supporters, helping to make the experiments a success. 

Cover photo credit: Keri Wilk

Part of the Footprint Coalition Science Engine

Project Eligilibity

Projects must meet Experiment project guidelines and funding discretion rests with the Science Lead. Ethical protocols to promote welfare of any species involved are required. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible, please contact for more information.

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