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Alien AI 'could be billions of years old'

April 6, 2021 | Comment icon 117 comments

Could something like the Borg actually exist ? Image Credit: CC BY-2.0 Marcin Wichary
A NASA philosopher maintains that an ancient extraterrestrial artificial intelligence might already exist.
When we think of the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe, we tend to imagine civilizations not unlike our own made up of humanoid biological beings like something out of Star Trek.

But what if the dominant form of intelligence in the universe is artificial, rather than biological ?

Philosopher Susan Schneider - who holds the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology - believes that such an AI might have already been around for billions of years.
"I do not believe that most advanced alien civilizations will be biological," she said. "The most sophisticated civilizations will be postbiological, forms of artificial intelligence or alien superintelligence."

For a recent study at NASA, Schneider attempted to answer the question of how an alien intelligence would think and whether they would have conscious experiences similar to our own.

She concluded that once a civilization reaches the point at which it can venture out into space, it will take only a few centuries for them to transition to artificial intelligence.

This makes it highly likely, she argues, that any aliens we do encounter will not be biological.

That said, it's important to note that her definition of 'artificial intelligence' extends to entities who have enhanced their minds and consciousness with technology - so this doesn't necessarily mean that an extraterrestrial AI would be purely robotic in nature.

Perhaps a better analogy would be something like the Borg in Star Trek - a fusion of biological entity and machine designed to enhance both way beyond what could be achieved with evolution alone.

Whether we are ever likely to encounter such beings (or to even become them ourselves), however, remains to be seen.

Source: Daily Galaxy | Comments (117)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #108 Posted by SeekTruth 6 months ago
Zep, thanks for your continued willingness to explain. Discussions like this really help me to learn and to gain different perspectives. I appreciate the non-confrontational and humble approach, in juxtaposition with the pompous attitude of some here.   From the article: "Something called quantum superposition allows a single qubit – a unit of data in a quantum computer – to exist as various quantities at the same time." Can you further expound on what exactly is meant by qubits existing as various quantities at the same time?
Comment icon #109 Posted by zep73 6 months ago
Although processing is a logical and automatic process, it is rather complicated to explain. I think a video does a better job than I could, if you don't mind. Basic processing explained: (You can skip this, if you are familiar with it) Spoiler   Quantum computers:  
Comment icon #110 Posted by joc 6 months ago
No!!  No!!! No!!!!!!!!!!! Please....I don't want to know what Chipsets are...please don't make me watch anymore...I promise I'll be nice...please...Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Comment icon #111 Posted by ChrLzs 6 months ago
Thanks for telling us - you've saved us a huge amount of research funding.  We'll shut down quantum research immediately. Next you should advise us on what to do about relativity, as that too includes a number of what you no doubt perceive as 'contradictions'.
Comment icon #112 Posted by joc 6 months ago
Comment icon #113 Posted by SeekTruth 6 months ago
Quantum research is a worthwhile pursuit. Quantum Research is a worthless pursuit. Both propositions are true. Both propositions are false.  Any questions?   Anything goes when the law of non-contradiction doesn't apply. Capisce?  
Comment icon #114 Posted by Alchopwn 6 months ago
Well us for starters, but think about it more closely... Natural selection invariably seems to make sexual reproduction pleasurable in the vast bulk of the species on earth too, so likely I speak for them also. 
Comment icon #115 Posted by Alchopwn 6 months ago
I was thinking more in terms of a species whose natural processes are supported and improved by nanotech than one who had substantial robotic components, but hey, say what you like about Grevious, he was a pretty scary lightsaber duelist, and a standout villain in an otherwise very mediocre franchise.
Comment icon #116 Posted by Ernest 6 months ago
Wish the aliens kidnap me to their world
Comment icon #117 Posted by ufoguy 6 months ago
Close but not close enough. Nice theory though

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