Any Advanced Alien Life We Come Across Will Likely Be Sentient Machines, Says Veteran Alien Hunter
Any advanced alien civilization that humanity manages to establish contact with would not probably be anything like humans themselves, or for that matter, life as we know it. Instead, they will probably be machines, says veteran alien hunter Seth Shostak.
According to Shostak, if an extraterrestrial species becomes technologically sophisticated enough to send signals to far away civilizations, odds are high it will likely get rid of the traditional biological trappings to emerge as a form of machine intelligence, presumably in rather short order, Live Science reports.
He further stated that one does not need to look any farther than Earth itself where the most dominant species, i.e., humans, appear to be on a similar course. To make his case, he pointed out how humans had invented the radio around 1900 and then quickly went on upgrading its technical prowess to the point that computers were possible by 1945. Not only that, in less than three-quarter of a century since the first computer was built, humans are already making relatively cheap devices boasting greater computing power than the human brain itself.
Many experts have put forward by and large similar predictions with regard to the future of humanity. It is already a commonly held perception that the development of true and strong artificial intelligence (AI) is not too far off. In fact, renowned scientist, innovator and futurist Ray Kurzweil has pegged 2045 as the year when the world will witness technological singularity, which, simply put, can be defined as the point at which AI exceeds human intellectual capacity and control, as reported by Space.com.
Some futurists believe that with rapid progress in AI technology (assuming it does not lead to an annihilation of the human race), humanity could eventually reach a stage wherein the pesky biological processes that keep us "alive" or conscious is rendered unnecessary and unwarranted. It is at such a juncture, humans could also transform themselves into some form of machine intelligence.
Going a step further, some futurists also believe that this could be how life evolves in the universe -- first through biology, then through technology and maybe then through something entirely different that humanity is yet to figure out.
"Once you invent a thinking machine, you say, 'Invent something better than you are,' and you build that. 'Design something better than you are,' and you build that, and so forth," he said.
"We continue to look in the directions of star systems that we think have habitable words, that have planets where biology could cook up and eventually turn into something clever like you guys... But I don't think it's going to be that way."