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Alien AI 'could be billions of years old'

By T.K. Randall
April 6, 2021 · Comment icon 120 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 (120)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #111 Posted by ChrLzs 2 years 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 2 years ago
Comment icon #113 Posted by SeekTruth 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago
Wish the aliens kidnap me to their world
Comment icon #117 Posted by ufoguy 2 years ago
Close but not close enough. Nice theory though
Comment icon #118 Posted by onlookerofmayhem 9 months ago
Hey zep. Remembered you mentioning Wigner and this video came out today. Sabine is my favorite explainer of physics stuff. Along with Science Asylum.
Comment icon #119 Posted by zep73 9 months ago
Hey onlooker. Yes she's describing the math. It's the 'shut up and calculate approach' to quantum oddities.
Comment icon #120 Posted by onlookerofmayhem 9 months ago
@zep73 I get that's she's describing the math. But correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what most of quantum physics is about? The math to describe what is being observed? I'm in no way, shape or form an expert in QM, but I try to follow as best I can. Not sure of your expertise in the field, but maybe you can help me. This may not be the right thread for this so I'm going to try to find the appropriate one.

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