Monkeys are cute right? And if a monkey could talk, that would be adorable, right? Wrong. Scientists ruin everything sometimes. Researchers of the the super cute old-world monkeys, macaques, wondered if they could replicate the brain circuitry in humans humans to make monkeys talk and the result is super creepy.
Scientists have been interested in nonhuman primates and their ability to produce human speech for at least four decades. Most monkeys show very limiting vocal tracts; however, the macaque is able to speak. The one thing holding the monkey back? Brain power. But the result is terrifying. Just listen.
Right? Neuroscientist, Asif Ghazanfar explains, “Now nobody can say that it’s something about the vocal anatomy that keeps monkeys from being able to speak —it has to be something in the brain.” “Even if this finding only applies to macaque monkeys, it would still debunk the idea that it’s the anatomy that limits speech in nonhumans. Now, the interesting question is, what is it in the human brain that makes it special?”
Scientists at the Belgium VUB Artificial Intelligence Lab have created a stimulated macaque vocal range by studying the tongue, lips, and larynx, creating a terrifying example of what these guys would sound like if they could speak. While it wouldn’t be entirely human, it would be understandable for humans. Even if it sounds like a complete nightmare.