When we encounter aliens, they will likely be replicators with AI
When we find aliens, we’ll likely encounter “tech gadgets with artificial intelligence (AI) and potentially 3D printing capabilities to repair damaged parts…”
One of the greatest scientists to ever walk the Earth was, without a doubt, the great Professor Stephan Hawking. He had a lot to say about extraterrestrial life, black holes and the future of humanity. In an article, I talked about his book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, where Professor Hawking talked about, among other things, artificial intelligence and contact with extraterrestrials:
Is there any other form of intelligent life in the universe?
There are intelligent life forms in the universe. We must refrain from answering it until we are a little more advanced.
Will artificial intelligence be smarter than us?
A super-intelligent AI will be extremely good at achieving goals and if those goals are not aligned with ours, we will be in trouble.
However, even before the publication of his book, Professor Hawking had already warned the world, saying: “If extraterrestrials visit us, the result will be much the same as when Christopher Columbus landed in America, which did not turn out well for Native Americans. It remains to be seen whether this is the case.
Officially, we haven’t met our cosmic brothers yet. However, another great scientist, Professor Avi Loeb, is of a more relaxed opinion regarding contact with extraterrestrials. The former chairman of Harvard’s astronomy department recently wrote that billions of worlds are habitable in our galaxy. In other words, the resources we consider valuable and unique are, in fact, commonplace in the Milky Way.
Should we fear aliens?
Why are we afraid of aliens? According to Professor Loeb , the fear of predators stems from our experiences on Earth. However, interstellar space is massive and anything but similar to our small terrestrial environment. Therefore, humanity is safe, according to Loeb. The first radio message we transmitted was in 1897. That was almost 126 years ago. As Loeb reveals, only intelligent civilizations existing within 63 light years of Earth could have noticed us as a civilization capable of communicating by radio. Luckily, this distance is not greater than 0.0026, the distance to the heart of the Milky Way. In other words, we are home to less than “one millionth of all stars in the Milky Way”.
What will aliens look like?
So if we encounter aliens, will they be little green men like we’ve imagined over the years? Would they look like Paul, the extraterrestrial? According to Loeb, neither. During a recent Q&A, Loeb was asked what extraterrestrial creatures we might encounter and if those aliens pose a threat to humans. Professor Loeb replied: “I explained that the encounter will most likely involve technological gadgets with artificial intelligence (AI) and potentially 3D printing capabilities to repair damaged parts or self-replicate. »
As Loeb explains, these technological gadgets are far more suited to surviving the vastness of interstellar space than biological creatures. After all, exploring the universe is a tedious and long journey that comes with many dangerous problems. As I’ve written in previous articles and as Loeb explains, our own artificial intelligence would likely recognize (and communicate) with alien AI long before humans did.
And as Professor Loeb concludes his essay , the truth is that humans are far from interesting on an interstellar scale. Therefore, we might not hear about aliens for a while. Either because we are not looking for them where we should, or because these aliens are far more advanced than we can imagine, and we are just ants in their eyes.