It is unlikely that any developed aliens that we are trying to contact will look like you or me, or like squid-like creatures from the movie “Arrival”.
If the extraterrestrial species is developed so strongly as to send us signals, then, most likely, it will reset its habitual biological features and take the form of machine intelligence in a short time. So says veteran on the search for aliens Seth Shostak.
In his conclusions, Shostak pushed away from the path that mankind is moving. People created the radio in 1900, and the computer in 1945. And now we are engaged in the production of relatively cheap technologies with greater computational power than the human brain.
In this regard, experts say that the emergence of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) is not far off. Popular futurologist Ray Kurzweil, for example, called the year 2045 the key to changing the world.
“But perhaps it will drag on until 2100, 2150 or 2250. It doesn’t matter, ”Shostak said in September at a presentation in Dent: a space conference in San Francisco. - “The bottom line is that any society that invents radio so that we can hear the signal for several centuries, invent and receivers. And I think that this is important, because the machines will be the receiving party. ”
Shostak predicted that the AI will work with human organs for some time. But in the end, people will abandon the “wet technologies” (human-computer interface) and will completely switch to digital. “It will be as if you are building a four-cylinder engine and placing it in a horse to increase its speed. In a short period of time, you will want to get rid of the horse and simply create a Maserati, ”said Shostak of the extraterrestrial intelligence quest (SETI) in Mountain View, California. - "It is likely that everything will be so."
He added that the humanoid machines will become smarter incredibly fast. Modern human intelligence is the result of Darwin’s 4 billion evolution, which uses random variations as a raw material and is not directed towards any specific goal. But the evolution of machine intelligence will be designed and efficient.
“By developing thinking machines you think you can create something better. Having created something better, you raise the bar again and so on, ”he said.
This idea greatly influences the search for alien life. Super-advanced extraterrestrial vehicles, unlike terrestrial organisms, do not need water or other chemicals for survival. So they will not be tied to their home planets and ancestors. And long distances will not be a problem for these machines, provided that they have access to enough energy and raw materials in order to maintain their working capacity for thousands of years.
“We are looking into star systems that we think can have habitable planets. Somewhere there are places where biology exists that can evolve into something rational, ”he said at the presentation. “But I don’t think it will happen that way.” Shostak said he did not advise his colleagues at SETI to stop investigating a potential for the life of an Earth-like planet Proxima b, which is only 4.2 light years from Earth. (In such worlds, simple life forms can still dwell, even if the most intelligent people evolved to technology and moved). But he added that a good idea would be to expand the search in those spaces that may be attractive for digital forms of life. These are places with a large amount of available energy - the centers of galaxies.
“There really can be intelligent beings,” said Shostak.
“Maybe the best way out is to focus on points connecting places with lots of energy. So we would have intercepted a potential communication between two alien machines, ”he added.
“Here is my message: we are looking for analogues of our kind, but I’m not sure that this is the most common form of intelligence in the Universe,” Shostak concluded. “I’m even willing to bet that this isn’t true.”