Ann Vole (annvole) wrote,
Ann Vole

stages to "Eye of Dolittle"

1) Animals understand food. The first step to studying the cultural brains of animals would be to get them making choices in a binary way. When Mark Zuckerberg was thinking of the ideas behind the FaceBook social medium he founded, he made an interactive website called "Facemash" where visitors could choose between two faces and as a result, the ranking of all the faces available (in this case, female college students in one of 10 fraternity houses) would pick out both the most beautiful and the most ugly faces of them all. This same method can be used to rank foods from binary choices of the animals when presented two possible foods.

2) once animals are adept at choosing A or B via a computer interface, an animal version of Facemash could be tried. Face recogniion software might be able to be altered for the species in question and the elements that make more prefered or less prefered faces or bodies could be discovered. Some animals have "sexual dimorphism" which is where the male and female look differnt beyond the required differences for reproductive purposes. Some of these differences can be atributed to logical needs such as male ground squirrels are generally smaller then females so they can enter the holes of smaller females. Most of these differences are instead the collective choosing of the other gender. This is a form of culture among animals that this sort of test would find.

3) digital image manipulation can be automated for the public use via a website to create versions of the animal species being tested. These human-created animal faces or bodies could then be "facemash" tested to determine who is closest to the general choices of the animal species. Artist renditions and drawings could also be added and would migrate to their own secion on the spectrum of beautiful to ugly. Human faces could also be included if the animals show interest in choosing between them too.

4) the animals doing these choices can have statistical anylisis done on their choices to find the individuals with the best eye for what others of their species generally choose. These individuals can be trained to use the digital image manipulation software the humans use to create versions of their faces to come up with animal art to be judged by others of their own kind.

5) I will be doing research to see if it is possible to communicate with language to and from these animals. If such two-way communication is achieved, more detailed tests on animal senses of beauty can be done, again tested using the social media methods detailed above but with human-animal text chat added to the tools.
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