The animal languages include different forms of non-human ways that human beings communicate with the animals (Wilkie & McKinnon, 2013). Animals communicate using sounds and movements which may be complex to understand. However, such singing can be called animal language especially when the animal is able to produce them with a degree of willingness. However, researchers have argued and expressed that animal languages may not be as complex as the human language because they lack the critical aspects of human language. Such aspects include the ability to create new patterns of communication under different circumstances. However, learning a new language to enable the humans to communicate with the animals may be both detrimental and advantageous to the user. This paper is going to examine whether learning a new language for animals is related to the big data concepts and whether or not such language may be useful in communicating with the animals.
According to Tanz (2016), the development of computers and technology has affected the modern society in many ways. Human beings have become more reliant on the networked information systems such that it has affected the way people interact with their fellow humans and with the animals as well. As Wright (2007) explains in his text Mastering Information through Ages, the cultural evolution in information sharing has greatly influenced the way people obtain and use the information. However, the main problem as explained by the author is the overreliance on the networked information system that has resulted in a new problem of information overload (big data). Therefore, before looking at the issue of whether learning a new language for animals would affect the way we communicate and interact with the animals, it is important to understand how acquiring the new language is related to the big data concepts discussed in class. Wright defines information as the juxtaposition of data to create meaning (Wright, 2007, p. 10). Therefore, as Wright explains even animals are able to create, organize and share information just like the humans. Wrights idea that if people can understand and accept that the familiar constructs of information are based on the continuum from data to wisdom, we can be able to understand the importance of learning a new language to enable us to communicate with the animals.
The complexity of how animals communicate continues to amaze scientists; for instance, Wright explains that the insects ability to communicate and process information is one of the amazing things that cannot be predicted by the animals blueprint. The human mind today has been made to rely on the computer information which involves a collection of ideas and information from different sources. The same concept applies to animals in their communication. Just like the human beings that cannot possess more intelligence alone but can possess more when in a group, the animals like bees are able to collect information through a collective mind which enables them to find potential food sources. As Wright (2007) explains, the bees are almost similar to the human big data system as they are able to process, organize, communicate, and most importantly store the data for more days. With the help of the computers and internet, we are able to produce process big data every day which could not be possible individually. The computers enable people to produce over five exabytes of information annually. This information comes from different sources such as documents, e-mail messages, television shows, web pages and many other sources.
Wright further notes in his text that, this kind of information that we produce is more than 50,000 times the total number of words stored in the U.S Library of Congress (p. 6).However, if such information is given to one person he/she may not be able to carry it for even the next 30 minutes. However, the computers and other storage like books have made it possible that we can remember the information many years to come. The main question that arises is that how it possible is that people are able to produce such mass of data or information. The answer is not totally computers because as Wright explains, it is not only human beings that can produce such mas of information.
According to Wilkie and McKinnon (2013), even the other organisms are able to produce huge data and store it. For instance, the bees are some of the examples of organisms that do not have computers like the humans but they are able to communicate, organize information, and share it amongst themselves. Furthermore, the bees are able to store the information for a couple of days before it relinquishes from their brains. This is the same with the humans; based on the Blooms model of natures mass minds and collective intelligence is as a result of five key critical forces. The forces include conformity enforcers, diversity generators, inner-judges, resource shifters, and intergroup tournaments (Wright, 2007). It is through these factors that the concept of big data can be seen in other organisms like bees that communicate through pheromone trails which guides the way they communicate. The bees are able to keep information in a group as long as three months, something which is not possible for a single honeybee (Wright, 2007, p. 14). Therefore, I think that learning a new language for animals is closely related to the concept of big data discussed in this course.
Now that we have discussed how acquiring a new language for communication is related to the concept of big data, it is important to understand how this information can influence the way we communicate with the animals or help us understand our environment. Although technology has become an integral part of our society today it is impossible to deny the damage it has caused as well. Computers are protected by codes, which are hackable (Tanz, 2016). However, we have entrusted our critical information to the computers. These machines have become part our daily lives such that they have started to convert the way we think, act, or feel into data. This is what I think is most likely to happen is we continue with the so-called science to study new languages to communicate with the animals.
We are on the edge of destroying our own environment with what some people believe can change the way we interact with the animals. Of course, having information about animals ethics can help us understand the animals and limit the kinds of despicable things that we do to animals. For instance, it will help us understand that animals can also process information just like the humans; thus, enabling us to make moral decisions towards the animals (Blass & Forbus, 2015). Therefore, there is no need to keep an animal locked up in a cage like a lab rat because someone wants to satisfy his/her scientific curiosity. However, it is also detrimental to the human race as a whole. If we continue entrusting the human information to animals, it will reach a point where the animals start to convert our emotions, actions, and thoughts, as Tanz puts it, like the way computers software we entrust with the critical information probably do. I dont think that learning a new language to enable us to communicate with the animals is most likely going to impact the environment positively or even change the human life positively in any way. Therefore, as much we would like to have some common level of understanding with these animals, acquiring a new language to help us communicate with them would not help us improve our environment or our lives mostly in positive a manner.
In conclusion, this study has examined the concepts of big data and how it related to the acquisition of new language for animals. Further, the paper has further stated and discussed the implications of acquiring new language for communication with the animals. Among the key highlighted points include the negative implications such as converting the way we humans feel, act, or even think. Therefore, even as scientists continue to find to learn the languages of the animals they should know that humans are superior to animals and having a common language to communicate with them makes them equals to humans. Therefore, it is important to respect the law of nature that humans are still at the top of the food chain and not vice versa.
Blass, J. A., & Forbus, K. D. (2015, January). Moral Decision-Making by Analogy: Generalizations versus Exemplars. In AAAI (pp. 501-507). Retrieved from http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/papers/Files/QRG_Dist_Files/QRG_2015/Blass-Forbus-AAAI%2015.pdf
Tanz, J. (2016). Soon We Won't Program Computers. We'll Train them Like Dogs. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2016/05/the-end-of-code/
Wilkie, R., & McKinnon, A. (2013). George Herbert Mead on humans and other animals: social relations after human-animal studies. Sociological Research Online, 18(4), 19. Retrieved from http://www.socresonline.org.uk/18/4/19.html
Wright, A. (2007). Glut: Mastering information through the ages. National Academies Press.
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