Friday, June 04, 2010
Well, sort of. Scientists at a nonprofit institute are teaching a dolphin named Merlin to use his nose to select shapes on the touchscreen of an iPad in a waterproof case. The idea is to teach a dolphin a symbolic language, as has been done with apes. While dolphins may be just as smart as apes (depending, of course, on how one defines and measures "intelligence"), apes are far easier to work with because they can point, push buttons, and grasp objects. Apple's newest cool technology may overcome cetaceans' lack of fingers and enable, if not full communication, then at least a better understanding of how dolphins think.