Google has today introduced a beta version of a new service Translate for Animals: Bridging the gap between animals and humans. They write that
Language is one of our biggest challenges so we have targeted our efforts on removing language barriers between the species. We are excited to introduce Translate for Animals, an Android application which we hope will allow us to better understand our animal friends. We’ve always been a pet-friendly company at Google, and we hope that Translate for Animals encourages greater interaction and understanding between animal and human.
Will this service really work? Automatic translation for human languages still has such a long way to go that I can’t really see it working into animal languages. When we look at Bible translation, machine translation into human languages is not really feasible. So I don’t see much chance in the near future, even with the power of Google behind the project, of Bible versions for our cats and dogs.
Indeed I wonder if this whole project is likely to be a one day wonder which people should really be laughing at.