Pet Dog
In this representational image, a golden retriever belonging to Brazilian President Michel Temer is pictured strolling behind his owner along the gardens of the Juburu residential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Jan. 4, 2018. Getty Images

Humans may soon be able to understand the meaning behind a dog's bark through a new device in the works that will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Con Slobodchikoff, an animal language expert, is working towards enhancing how humans communicate with dogs. Through his company Zoolingua, Slobodchikoff intends to use AI technology to create the first-ever dog translation device. The device, which is expected to surface in the next 10 years, would help humans to decipher the sounds and movements of animals.

"AI technology has now advanced to the point where we can apply it to learn what our pets are trying to say to us," Slobodchikoff told International Business Times. "While dogs are pretty good at reading the cues provided by their people, people are notoriously bad at reading the signals that dogs make."

Slobodchikoff's studies are still in the beginning stages, but he has already managed to determine the communication habits of prairie dogs.

Slobodchikoff's work with prairie dogs combines the use of referential communication, where information is exchanged between two communicators. So far, he's discovered that prairie dogs possess different alarm calls for varying predator species and alert signals that contain detailed information about the predator's characteristics, among other speaking habits, according to his Northern Arizona University profile.

"I thought, if we can do this with prairie dogs, we can certainly do it with dogs and cats," Slobodchikoff said to NBC News.

Slobodchikoff aims for the device to be able to translate barks into common human phrases such as "'I want to eat now'... or 'I want to go for a walk.'" He expects two possible outcomes to surface from the creation of this device, however.

"One is that it will allow people and their dogs to bond together more closely as people realize that their dogs understand what is being said to them and can respond in understandable ways," Slobodchikoff said to IBT. "The other is that we currently in the United States are euthanizing between 2-3 million dogs per year, primarily because of behavioral problems."

"When dogs are able to communicate their issues to people, many of these behavioral problems can be solved more quickly and we would not have to euthanize so many animals," Slobodchikoff continued.

The potential arrival of such technology hasn't convinced everyone, however.

"It sounds ridiculous," Brenden Lake, an assistant professor of psychology and data science at New York University, said to IBT. "We are not going to be having conversations with our pets anytime soon."

Scandinavian researchers with the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery (NSID) announced in 2013 it was working on No-More-Woof, a dog translation device. The small headset device would have served as the first of its kind as it was expected to possess the ability to translate all animal thoughts into language understood by humans.

To make such communication possible, the researchers intended to use microcomputing, electroencephalography sensoring (EEG) and brain-computer interface software to help "analyze animal thought patterns and spell them out...using a loudspeaker," according to the product's website.

The headset device, which was expected to arrive May 2014, was previously available for pre-order through an IndieGoGo campaign that generated more than $22,000 from 231 backers. However, NSID dropped the project in January 2017.

The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment.