Being a longtime cetacean fan, I'm excited to see these scientists (and a philosopher) saying dolphins are smart enough to have some of the rights we accord to persons. All popular science article warnings apply, but there's a pretty good roundup of their cognitive abilities at the linked article.
Assuming that humans don't screw things up by killing ourselves or the dolphins, I think there'll be a time when humans can engage in much fuller communication with dolphins than currently possible. We'll probably need some really crazy neurotechnology to make this work out, but I think humans will eventually put that together given enough time. When it happens, it'll be one of the coolest things our species has ever done.
And perhaps we will uplift them, making them a fellow spacefaring race!
(Obligatory South Park quote)
"If dolphins are so smart, why do they live in igloos?"
Yes yes yes spacefaring dolphin uplift!
Dolphins would remember to vote for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts on January 19.
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