HighKey

Meet Bunny, the talking dog that is taking over the internet and soon, the world

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Bunny and her AAC device from @seattlerefined

I’m sure most of you know about the “Planet of the Apes” movies. The first  movie starts with a cute, little chimpanzee who wins the heart of his scientist-owner.

But the chimpanzee turns into a hyper intelligent conqueror who is out to make humans pay for the atrocities they committed against the apes.

In other words, it’s a good, heartwarming movie.

The reason I mention this film is because, believe it or not, we are on the way to being conquered by another species we once viewed as inferior to us but it’s not apes … it’s Bunny.

Well, a dog named Bunny. Let me explain.

The other day I was spending an ungodly amount of time on TikTok and I stumbled upon a video of a dog named Bunny.

She was standing next to an assortment of buttons on the floor. She would raise a paw and then press down on a few buttons, and for each one a pre-recorded sound would go off: “More, Treats, Now.”

Bunny has become somewhat of a media sensation. The TikTok account @what_about_bunny has 5 million followers and hundreds of thousands of likes on each video. Bunny is raising an army.

Besides the videos of Bunny posted on her owner, Devine’s, account there are also dozens of parody videos and jokes about Bunny’s sentience and eventual take over of the human race.

The board Bunny uses to communicate is known as an augmentative and alternative communication device. This board has symbols on it used to generate pre-recorded speech. 

This kind of device is typically used by people who are nonverbal to communicate without actually speaking. Devine trained Bunny from when she was a puppy to use an AAC device. Now at 15 months old, Bunny’s AAC device has expanded into a mat with over 70 buttons.

After garnering so much fame on TikTok Bunny attracted the attention of Federico Rossano, the director of the Comparative Cognition Lab at UC San Diego. Rosanno wants to start studying Bunny and other dogs who are learning to use the AAC device. 

Rosanno wants to learn if it is possible for non-humans to use this as a true form of communication. The study now has over 700 participants and a plethora of other animals being studied besides dogs, like cats and even horses.

First they teach Bunny speech and next thing you know, Bunny is becoming our supreme ruler. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Actually, now that I think about it, we could use a bit more diversity in our government. Who knows, maybe Bunny is exactly what we need to solve the COVID-19 pandemic and even world peace.

All hail Bunny.

Hinrichs can be reached at [email protected]