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Apes with Apps

For more than a century, researchers have debated whether apes could ever truly comprehend human language. Some have argued that a special adaptation in the human brain made our species uniquely able to acquire language. But a small group of bonobos aided by touch-screen computers and tablets have proven able to recognize thousands of spoken words and associate them with a system of abstract symbols they use to make requests, answer questions, and compose short sentences. They even coin their own phrases. For example, they chose the three-symbol sequence bread cheese tomato as the stand-in for the word pizza. - Cool

- read IEEE Spectrum, July 2012


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