image: detail from "Discomedusae" - Plate 28 in "Kunstformen der Natur." Ernst Haeckel - 1904
Lensic Performing Arts Center
Community Event
  US Mountain Time
Diana Reiss, David Krakauer

The Santa Fe Institute recently hosted a workshop called "Animals in Translation," organized by Interspecies Internet, with representatives from XPrize, which aimed to imagine, discuss and co-create robust yet flexible criteria that would constitute evidence for the successful decoding of communication systems of another species. Towards this goal, the meeting brought together experts from the fields of animal communication, cognition, behavior, AI, philosophy, linguistics, and mathematics, and the arts. Developing such criteria will inspire and encourage the pursuit of the demonstration of such translations and we hope that this achievement will create a sea change in how animals are perceived and treated.

The proceedings of the workshop and outcomes will be documented and published digitally as an unprecedented advance for the field. The outcomes will contribute to the wider field of exobiology, too. In addition, representatives of the XPrize Biodiversity + Conservation will further co-develop a prize concept for animal translation based on the criteria developed. 

For this public event, Diana Reiss (Hunter College, Interspecies io) and David Krakauer (SFI) will discuss key insights which emerged from the workshop, along with never before seen interviews of participating researchers including Vint Cerf, Cat Hobatier, Neil Gershenfeld, David Gruber, and others.

Diana Reiss is a professor of psychology at Hunter College and in the graduate program of Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology at the City University of New York. Reiss's research has focused on understanding cognition and communication in dolphins and other cetaceans. Her important contributions include demonstrating mirror self-awareness in dolphins via the Mirror test. Her work in conservation and animal welfare includes "the protection of dolphins in the tuna-fishing industry and her current efforts to bring an end to the killing of dolphins in the drive hunts in Japan." She was the scientific advisor for The Cove and wrote The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives. She is a Founding Trustee of the Interspecies Internet. 

David Krakauer is the President and William H. Miller Professor of Complexity Science at the Santa Fe Institute. His research explores the evolution of intelligence and stupidity on earth. This includes studying the evolution of cellular, linguistic, social and cultural mechanisms and artifacts supporting memory and information processing. His attempt to answer such questions as "How did intelligence evolve in the universe?" and "What is the relationship of intelligence to fundamental physical and biological laws, to include entropy production, the arrow of time, and natural selection?" are pursued using a combination of carefully selected model systems and mathematical and computational frameworks.

Reserve your free tickets to this event via the Lensic Performing Arts Center's box office. This discussion will also be streamed live via SFI's YouTube channel, and recorded for future viewing.

The 2024 Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture Series is free to attend thanks to generous sponsorship by the McKinnon Family Foundation, with additional support from the Santa Fe Reporter, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

SFI Host: 
Caitlin McShea

More SFI Events