Electronic aliens: alien mind can be machine

Original author: Mike Wall
  • Transfer

Any intelligent aliens with whom humanity can come into contact, most likely, will not look like you, me or squid-like creatures from the movie " Arrival ".

If creatures from other planets develop enough to send signals that humans can accept, they are likely to throw off their biological shackles and turn into one of the forms of machine intelligence, as the long-time foreign hunter Seth Shostak claims [ Seth Shostak ].

To prove this, Shostak points to the path that people seem to have taken. People invented radio around 1900, and the computer in 1945, and they already produce fairly cheap devices that exceed the human brain in computing power..

The development of real, solid artificial intelligence, therefore, is also not far off. Well-known futurist Raymond Kurzweil [Ray Kurzweil], for example, claims that this world-changing singularity will appear in 2045.

“But maybe it will appear in 2100, 2150, or even 2250. “It doesn't matter,” Shostak said in September at Dent: Space conference in San Francisco. - The bottom line is that any society that invents radio, which we can hear, will invent its descendants in a few centuries. And these descendants will be cars. ”

Shostak predicts that for some time the AI ​​will communicate with the bodies of people through the interface, but as a result, people will throw their wet vessels and completely turn into a number.

“This is similar to how you build a four-cylinder engine. Then you install it in a horse to get a fast horse. And pretty quickly you say, “Let's get rid of the horse, and just do the Maserati,” says Shostak, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. "Most likely, this is exactly what will happen."

Machine versions of people will get smarter and get new features very quickly, it adds. Human intelligence today is the result of 4 billion years of evolution, using random variations of raw material, not aimed at any particular goal. But the evolution of machine intelligence will be planned and effective, Shostak says.

“By inventing a thinking machine, you say, 'Invent something better than you yourself,' and you build it. “Develop something better than you,” and you build it, and so on, ”he says.

This idea seriously changes the search for intelligent life in space. Unlike terrestrial organisms, very advanced alien machines will not need water or other chemicals to survive, and they will not be tied to the ancestral worlds of their lives, Shostak says. Traveling vast distances will not be a problem for them if they can stock up on enough energy and materials to repair themselves for thousands of years, he says.

"We continue to look in the direction of star systems, which we think have inhabited worlds, which have planets, where biology could create something as smart as you," he told Dent: Space audience. "But I do not think that everything will develop this way."

Shostak says he does not offer his SETI colleagues to abandon exploration of planets that are potentially Earth-like, such as Proxima b - the newly opened world only 4.2 light years from us. And the simplest life forms can live on such worlds, even if their most intelligent inhabitants have turned into numbers and have already flown away for a very long time, Shostak says. But it may be worth expanding the search to regions of space that would be attractive for digital life forms, he says - for example, to places with large reserves of energy, such as the center of the galaxy.

“It is there that the most intelligent creatures can be,” said Shostak. “Maybe we need to look at the parts of the sky that unite two different places with a high content of energy,” to intercept communications between alien machines, Shostak added. "Here is my message: you are looking for your analogs, but I am not sure that they constitute the majority in intelligent life in the Universe," Shostak concluded. "I would bet that this is not so."

Also popular now: