A new cat translator app called Meowtalk has been creating a lot of excitement in the press recently. The Android app claims to help you understand what your cat is trying to say to you. Top cat apps are nothing new, but Javier Sanchez, a former Amazon engineer who worked on Alexa’s voice recognition device, created this one.The Meowtalk app actually analyses cat sounds to see if it can work out the meaning behind them.
Strangely, meows are mostly a human-cat interaction rather than one used between cats themselves. As Sanchez explained to KING5: “It’s not a language. They don’t share words or communicate with each other. Cats never meow at each other out in nature.”
Well in case you’re wondering how it works, MeowTalk records the sound and then attempts to identify the meaning. Cat’s meows mean different with different pitch and sound.
The cat’s owner also helps to label the translation, creating a database for the AI software to learn from. Currently, there are only 13 phrases in the app’s vocabulary including: “Feed me!”, “I’m angry!” and “Leave me alone!”
Of course, the developers don’t want to stop there. The ultimate objective is to develop a smart-collar that would translate your cat’s meow instantly.
“I think this is especially important now because, with all the social distancing that’s happening, you have people that are confined at home with … a significant other – this feline,” Javier Sanchez, group technical program manager at app developer Akvelon, explained.
It’s certainly a fun step along the way to communicating with our feline friends, and with over 100,000 downloads of the app already, that database of cat sounds is just going to grow – who knows what can be done with that data in the future?