At a TED conference this week, four people — musician Peter Gabriel, MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld, cognitive psychologist Diana Reiss, and Internet co-creator Vint Cerf — announced their latest joint nonprofit project, the Interspecies Internet. When launched, the networked streaming video platform will bring together species who have already demonstrated the ability to communicate with humans, such as dolphins and apes, with a range of people from researchers to schoolchildren. It will also work with other organizations that are already using technology to communicate with animals.
What’s the Big Idea?
In the project description, Gabriel writes that the Interspecies Internet will also connect captive animals to their noncaptive fellows in their native lands. “Schoolchildren in the native regions where these animals are in danger, would be able to communicate with the animals via tablet and learn that these animals are intelligent and friendly.” Cerf says the project is only one step towards an even broader goal: to be able to communicate with beings from other planets via an Interplanetary Internet.