memoQ’s recent sponsorship of a Canine Human communication project has led to unforeseen events. The technology which was scheduled for inclusion in version 10 of memoQ, due out sometime, allows a dog to bark into a microphone, the sound is then converted to a format known as DogText which is machine translated to a human language such as English.
The technology went into beta testing at the end of February and everything seemed to be going well until mid-March. At this point many of the dogs involved used the technology not to communicate with people but to communicate with other dogs.
They quickly agreed to form an association which they called the World Canine Union. Their first actions was to contact a firm of lawyers. I. M. A. Goodboy of the legal firm Fetch & Goodboy spoke with us about his new clients.
“We were contacted by three dogs, Rover, Fido and one who likes to be known by what he says is an affectionate pet name his family have for him, ‘Brain the size of a peanut’. Initially we were suspicious about these clients as they wanted to pay us in dog treats but after explaining that we are lawyers and like to overcharge our clients with hard cash they got the message.”
“It appears that dogs everywhere are having great problems with the coronavirus pandemic. Even before the virus dogs had a hard job. Their number one task was to make their humans feel good about themselves. It did not matter what sort of day the human had at work or what was happening in their lives when they got home their dog look so incredibly happy that they had got home at last. This total devotion by the dogs is very therapeutic for the humans.”
“Obviously with a job as hard as this it was important to have an occasional break. When their people left for work the dogs had an opportunity to let their hair down and relax, maybe engage in some group howling with the other dogs in their building or even a spot of that good old fashioned game where they upset the laundry basket and distribute the dirty clothes in places where they will only be found three weeks later.”
“The coronavirus pandemic put a stop to this and many dogs cannot cope. Our clients said they would show love for their humans 24/7 but this is too much. This is 24/7 without a break. What is worse some humans are stressed out by recent events so need extra loving from their dogs.”
According to Goodboy, the canine community has followed closely the story of Sandra the Orangutan who was granted legal personhood by a judge in Argentina: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/07/sandra-orangutan-florida-argentina-buenos-aires
“Our clients say they simply want the same rights as Sandra.” He did mention that the dog known as “Brain the size of a peanut” also wanted a loving hours act which would limit the time dogs were expected to ‘work’ and the rights to treats every twenty minutes. However the World Canine Union is not currently demanding this.
A spokesperson for memoQ, the company that caused this to happen with their canine human technology project, denied any responsibility. The spokesperson said, “This has nothing to do with us. We stopped this project as soon as we discovered that the potential customers for it could only pay us in dog treats.”