Aliens could exist in the form of Artificial Intelligence

Um pequeno grupo de pensadores fora do reino da ficção científica considera que a Inteligência Artificial não só já existe, como existe há eras.

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In her recent study for NASA, she asks “How do intelligent aliens think? Would they have conscious experiences?” cognitive scientist and philosopher Susan Schneider of Connecticut University and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study asks if we encountered extraterrestrial intelligence with consciousness, what might it “look like” and would we recognize it?

“I don’t believe that most advanced alien civilizations are biological. The most sophisticated civilizations would be post-biological, forms of artificial intelligence or alien super intelligence,” says Susan Schneider.

Although we are aware that our culture is anthropomorphizing, Schneider imagines that his suggestion that aliens are supercomputers may seem far-fetched to us. So what is her justification for the view that most intelligent alien civilizations would have members who are Superintelligent Artificial Intelligences?


Schneider offers three observations that together support his conclusion about the existence of alien superintelligence.

The first is “the short time window observation”: once a society creates the technology that could put it in contact with the cosmos, it is only a few hundred years away from shifting its own paradigm from biology to Artificial Intelligence. This “short time window” makes it more likely that the aliens we encounter are post-biological.

The observation of the short time window is supported by human cultural evolution, at least so far. Our first radio signals date back just a hundred and twenty years, and space exploration is just over fifty years old, but we are already immersed in digital technology like cell phones and laptops.

Schneider’s second argument is “the Great Age of Alien Civilizations.” Proponents of SETI (the institute that aims to search for intelligent life in space by analyzing radio signals) concluded that alien civilizations would be much older than ours. “All evidence suggests the conclusion that the maximum age of extraterrestrial intelligence would be billions of years, specifically ranging from 1.7 billion to 8 billion years.”

If civilizations were millions or billions of years older than ours, many would be much more intelligent than us. By our standards, many would be super intelligent. We are galactic babies.

But are aliens forms of Artificial Intelligence, as well as forms of super intelligence? Schneider says yes.

Even if they were biological, having only brain enhancements, their super intelligence would be achieved by artificial means and we could consider them as “artificial intelligence”.

But she suspects something stronger than that: the third observation is that they would not be based on carbon, like terrestrial beings. Uploading would allow a creature to approach immortality, allow for reboots, and enable it to survive in a variety of conditions that carbon-based life forms cannot.

Furthermore, silicon, which we use to build micro chips and computer processors, appears to be a better means of processing information than the brain itself. Neurons reach a peak speed of around 200 Hz, around 1 million times slower than current microprocessors can reach.