An app might be able to tell you what your cat is saying - but how does it work?

Thursday, 19th November 2020, 12:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th November 2020, 2:50 pm

You can now download an app which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to ‘translate’ your cat’s miaows.

The MeowTalk app lets you record your feline’s noises, then uses AI to try and decipher their meaning.

It was developed by an engineer who previously worked on the Amazon Alexa, and is available to download now.

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The app’s developers hope that the technology, which will improve over time as it builds up a greater database of miaows, will eventually be utilised in a translation collar.

How does it work?

The app relies partly on the user to label some of the translations, which helps to build up the app’s database, and allows the AI to learn more about your cat.

It is believed that cats do not all communicate in the same way, but that, instead, each adapt the way they miaow to their owners and environment. This means each cat’s miaow is unique, so the app builds up a better understanding of your cat the more you record it, becoming more accurate over time as the AI learns.

The app has 13 phrases built in which it can currently identify, including “I’m hunting,” “Feed me!” and “Leave me alone!”

In a webinar, group technical program manager at the app’s developer Akvelon, Javier Sanchez said, “I think this is especially important now because with all the social distancing that’s happening, you have people that are confined at home.

“This will enable them to communicate with their cat, or at least understand their cat’s intent, and build a very important connection.”

The app is available now on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store, though it has just been released and is still in its development phase, with a number of technical issues reported.