The search for extraterrestrial life implies that our cosmic neighbors are organic. But what if we are dealing with artificial intelligence? There are lots of obvious answers. There may be no intelligent space aliens near us (by cosmic standards) does not exist. Perhaps they never became anything more than microbial slime, or listening to our TV shows, we decided that we better stay away. There is another explanation: they are nothing like us.
“If we do find a signal, you shouldn’t expect it to come from some soft of alien protoplasm with a microphone on the other end,” says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI organization, which is engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
SETI is actively looking for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life for over half a century. Despite the tantalizing signals (like that recent), still she was left with nothing. But Shostak believes that we should continue the search and at the same time to think about what these aliens might be.
“Perhaps the most important thing we can do is to create its own successors,” says Shostak. — If we can develop artificial intelligence in a few hundred years or there to invent radio, any aliens who we could hear through it a long time ago”.
“In other words, he says, the majority of the intelligence in the cosmos, I bet, submitted to artificial intelligence, and this may disappoint movie fans who used to think about little grey men with big eyes, no clothes, hair and sense of humor.”
This argument assumes that the beings who built the first artificial intelligence — little grey men, intelligent beings from other dimensions, guardians of the galaxy, intelligent trees, or someone else — is no more.
“Well, they could be” inferior Shostak, “but as soon as you will develop artificial intelligence, you can use it to create a thinking of the next generation and so on — and for 50 years, not only do you get a machine that will be smarter than all the previous cars, and smarter than all humans put together.”
“The big question,” says astronomer and author of “Finding twins of the Earth”, Stuart Clarke, “is whether the AI is conscious and will determine whether their own goals, thinking that he doesn’t need a biological creation.”
From the conscious machines of death from the books of “berserk” to the cyborgs in Battlestar Galactica” or “terminator” science fiction definitely loves the subject AI that destroy their more mundane biological creators. It is, however, not necessarily by each technological civilization. Artificial intelligence is really intelligent machines with synthetic brain — can be something impossible.
“I don’t think it’s something that is inevitable,” says Clark. But the important thing is that we’re looking for something that can be a little like us, and this limit your search results”.
SETI uses an array of radio telescopes in California to search for signals. Receiving signals of the saucer aimed at the star system, which was discovered other planets by ground and space telescopes. These planets may have liquid oceans and life, to maintain the atmosphere and even some life. But machine intelligence could exist anywhere.
“That’s the problem,” says Shostak. “Not only can they be anywhere for them, it would make sense to go to such places in the Universe where there are large sources of energy — if you spend a lot of mental work, you’d need a lot of energy. Maybe we need to seek?”.
If so, SETI can look for not where you need it. “Instead of having the whole field of radio telescopes, perhaps it would be better to spend the money to equip each laboratory equipment, which will examine each received signal in search of recurring,” says Clark.
Would each Observatory for the conversion in the framework of SETI, it is still worth a look. But such technology could lead to other amazing astronomical discoveries. We, for example, now know that the pulsar is a rapidly rotating neutron star. When Jocelyn bell discovered the first of these oscillating signals in 1967, the Cambridge group half-jokingly identified them LGM1 (which stands for “little green men”).
In the short term, SETI will likely continue their search for life on planets like the earth. But as Shostak says, “over time, if we have any ideas of where I could find synthetic intelligence, I think we will conduct more and more experiments aimed at this.”
Another approach would be to transfer messages from Earth to the target regions of space. This is a controversial strategy that, according to Stephen Hawking, could put the Earth at risk of attacks and exploitation from outside. “We just look at ourselves to see how intelligent life turns into something we would not like to meet,” he warned in 2010.
“I disagree,” says Shostak. “But SETI has no broadcast capabilities, and even if we did, it would take a lot of time trying to get an answer — depending on how close to us the aliens”.
So, if we got a little bit to the answer to the question, what kind of intelligence predominates in the Universe, synthetic or not? “I think we can’t assert or deny, too,” says Shostak. — We took a slightly wrong approach, but I think it’s too early to think about the final answer.”
Clark agrees with him. “I think SETI should generalize your search as much as possible,” he says. — The answer to the question whether there is in the Universe intelligent life, will have far-reaching consequences for all of us, and this alone gives SETI the opportunity to continue working in the future.”