A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence has convinced some scientists that humans will eventually be able to ‘translate’ animal and even plant sounds into human language. But what would be the consequences of humans learning to ‘speak whale’, chat with bats or converse with elephants? The FT’s innovation editor John Thornhill and producer Persis Love explore the ethics of potential human-to-animal communication.

Presented by John Thornhill, produced by Persis Love, sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. The executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Cheryl Brumley is the FT’s head of audio.

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Credits: Elephant bee rumble from Lucy King; plant sounds from Lilach Hadany

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