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Peter Gabriel announces plans to teach monkeys how to use Skype

Former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel is set to take part in a new experiment, which aims to look at whether monkeys would use video technology to communicate with each other.
As reported by The Sunday Times, Gabriel will work with the Monkey World rescue centre and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the Interspecies Internet project.

"The idea is to extend a big video network that already exists in labs at [MIT] so that different species including our own have a chance to communicate," Gabriel is quoted as saying.

"I am absolutely certain the monkeys will use the video cameras in Monkey World to communicate with each other. I am also interested in how they would use the internet to communicate."

"Gabriel is convinced that people could communicate with animals if only we could find a shared medium of expression," the Sunday Times article continues.

It is not known what part Gabriel will play in the experiment, as a spokesperson for Monkey World said the plans were still at an early stage and they could not comment further.

However, Dr Bridget Waller from the University of Portsmouth has downplayed the reports. Waller told The Guardian: "I think we’re already pretty good at communicating with primates when they’re in captivity... Whether videoconferencing will help that, I’m not entirely sure. Primates are complex creatures and they need to be stimulated when we keep them in captivity."

Back in 2001, Gabriel made headlines after he taught monkeys how to play the keyboard.

Last year, Peter Gabriel said that there is a "small chance" of a reunion with Genesis.

Gabriel spoke to Rolling Stone about the possible reunion, appearing open to reforming with the band, who haven't played together for over 32 years with Gabriel as the frontman.

Discussing the potential reunion, Gabriel said: "I never say never. It really didn’t happen last time. I think there’s a small chance, but I don't think it’s very high."

© NME, by Luke Morgan Britton

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