Project dates: 19/01/2021 - Ongoing
This project employs Machine Learning to listen to Grey-Headed flying fox vocalisations, and takes the liberty of interpreting these into corresponding human-perceptible concepts in real-time based on known research into communication methods of these species. Grey-headed flying foxes are known to science to have up to 20 vocalisations with distinct meanings within five vocalisation ‘types’ (Christesen & Nelson, 2000). Of these 20 vocalisations, seven have so far been accurately learnt and translated for this project. This project follows a practice-based audio machine learning research design model, from audio capture through to classification with the help of bat carers and vocalisation experts, ending in a trained model free for public use. The public can take this project and, with the use of a microphone, decode flying fox vocalisations that it hears in real-time. While this tensorflow model has undergone a rigorous training process, I question how these learnt classifications are translated, and whether creative practice can be helpful in designing ‘creative interpretations’. I attempt this through poetic narrative and visual design, where each accurately heard vocalisation is turned into on-screen poetic animated text that aims to evoke the meaning behind each communication, such as a mating vocal, territorial vocal, a growl. This gives me the artistic license to interpret known vocalisations through creative practice. This project’s knowledge contributions include a dataset of categorised flying fox vocalisations, a trained tensorflow machine for listening to and identifying vocalisations, and a final artwork that interprets this data into digital poetry in real-time. Further research will be undertaken into the nature of creative machine listening for animal vocalisation interpretation.
‘The Bat Translator’ (2021-), Alinta Krauth. Image courtesy of the researcher.
EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS
Sites of Connection
13 Aug- 30 October 2021 | About the event
Location | USC Art Gallery
Other Team Members
- Seevinck, Jen, Eisentrager, Lauren, Wanless, Lisa, Rawlinson, Jasmine, Gagic, Lazar, Peter, Natasha Mae, Johnson, Emma, Elizabeth, Fatseas, Suo, Ratanak, Goo, Ruo Xuan, et al. (2021) IXD for the Planet: Interaction Design projects in sustainability and the environment
- Turner, Jane, Seevinck, Jen, Krauth, Alinta, Tweeddale, Anna, Sheikh, Hira, Gonsalves, Kavita, Armstrong, Keith, Pedersen, Courtney, Haynes, Rachael, King-Smith, Leah, et al. (2021) Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures: More than human futures: Data Wall Exhibition Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures: School of Design Inaugural Learning & Teaching Symposium in cooperation with QUT Design Lab & More-than-Human Futures Research Group.