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Australian researchers develop new communication system inspired by rare NT Aboriginal language Jingulu

An Aboriginal language only spoken by a handful of people in the Northern Territory has become the inspiration for a new artificial intelligence system, potentially helping people better communicate with machines.

Jingulu is considered an endangered language that’s traditionally spoken in the Northern Territory’s Barkly region.

A study, recently published in the academic journal Frontiers in Physics, suggests it has special characteristics that can easily be translated into commands for artificial Intelligence (AI) swarm systems.

“Maybe one of the most powerful things with Jingulu [is] that it gives us the simplicity and flexibility which we can apply in lots of different applications,” lead researcher at University of New South Wales Canberra, Hussein Abbass, said.

AI swarm systems are used in machines to help them to collaborate with humans and undertake complex tasks than humans command them to do.

The silhouette of a man in front of a wall of digital characters/screens
Experts say Australian law is not up-to-date to sufficiently regulate the rising use of artificial intelligence. (Chris Yang: Unsplash)

Dr Abbass said he stumbled on the Jingulu language by accident, while developing a new communication system.

“When I started looking at the abstract, it didn’t take much time to click in my mind about how suitable it is, for the work I do on artificial intelligence and human AI teaming,” he said.

Language easily translatable into AI commands

Dr Abbass said it was normal for AI researchers to draw on different forms of communication for their work, including other human languages, body language and even music.

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