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BornCurious is—like its home—about unbounded curiosity. Coming to you from Harvard Radcliffe Institute, one of the world’s leading centers for interdisciplinary exploration, this podcast brings together scholars, students, artists, and doers. Our conversations traverse current affairs, scientific breakthroughs, cutting-edge research, art making, and storytelling. Join us as we talk with and learn from the many people in our Radcliffe community whose work and lives are shaped by curiosity.

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David Gruber at interview


EP 109 | November 30, 2023
“Using Machine Learning to Listen to Whales”

For millennia, humans have regarded other species with curiosity and wonder. We have tried to decode their behaviors and imagine what they are saying—but truly speaking with animals has traditionally been the stuff of stories, such as those featuring Dr. Dolittle. In this episode of BornCurious, we talk with the oceanographer David Gruber, who is spearheading Project CETI, a multidisciplinary collaboration. We learn that understanding animals is rapidly moving beyond the realm of fiction: Gruber and his colleagues are using hard science—state-of-the-art robotics and machine learning—to listen to and translate sperm whale communication.

This episode was recorded on May 12, 2023.

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