A former Amazon engineer, Javier Sanchez has designed an application that translates a cats meows into human language.
“I’m hungry,” “I’m happy,” “I’m in pain”: those are just three of the nine translations proposed by the MeowTalk app to help cat owners understand their pets.
Already available free of charge for iOS and Android, the application is currently in a beta version. Users are encouraged to refine the data by telling the app when they consider the translation to be correct. Cat owners can also add their own translations if they feel that none of the nine available options corresponds to their pet’s meow.
Bringing credibility to this kind of app, which may leave people dubious, Javier Sanchez explains that he drew on expertise from his time developing Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, when building MeowTalk.
“I worked in the machine learning platform team at Alexa for a while,” Javier Sanchez told GeekWire. “And I got to see how the sausage was made, how they train their models and work with all the data science platforms. So I was fresh off the heels of that and I was thinking, ‘Well, we could do something similar with cats and it could be an app.'”
“A tool like this can help certain people bond even more with their cats, especially if they can’t be in contact with other people on a regular basis,” Javier Sanchez said.
“So this could be a real game changer for a key demographic that have cats.”