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The Alien Observatory --"Advanced Life May Exist in a Form That's Beyond Matter"

 

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Astrophysicist Paul Davies at Arizona State University suggests that advanced technology might not even be made of matter. That it might have no fixed size or shape; have no well-defined boundaries. Is dynamical on all scales of space and time. Or, conversely, does not appear to do anything at all that we can discern. Does not consist of discrete, separate things; but rather it is a system, or a subtle higher-level correlation of things.

Are matter and information, Davies asks, all there is? Five hundred years ago, Davies writes, " the very concept of a device manipulating information, or software, would have been incomprehensible. Might there be a still higher level, as yet outside all human experience, that organizes electrons? If so, this "third level" would never be manifest through observations made at the informational level, still less at the matter level.

We should be open to the distinct possibility that advanced alien technology a billion years old may operate at the third, or perhaps even a fourth or fifth level -all of which are totally incomprehensible to the human mind at our current state of evolution.

 

Susan Schneider of the University of Pennsylvania appears to agree. She is one of the few thinkers—outside the realm of science fiction— that have considered the notion that artificial intelligence is already out there, and has been for eons.

Her study, Alien Minds, asks "How would intelligent aliens think? Would they have conscious experiences? Would it feel a certain way to be an alien?"

While we are aware that our culture is anthropomorphizing, Schneider imagines that her suggestion that aliens are supercomputers may strike us as far-fetched. So what is her rationale for the view that most intelligent alien civilizations will have members that are superintelligent AI?

Schneider presents offer three observations that support her conclusion for the existence of alien superintelligence.

The first is "the short window observation": Once a society creates the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm from biology to AI. This “short window” makes it more likely that the aliens we encounter would be postbiological.

The short window observation is supported by human cultural evolution, at least thus far. Our first radio signals date back only about a hundred and twenty years, and space exploration is only about fifty years old, but we are already immersed in digital technology.

Schneider's second argument is "the greater age of alien civilizations." Proponents of SETI have often concluded that alien civilizations would be much older than our own “…all lines of evidence converge on the conclusion that the maximum age of extraterrestrial intelligence would be billions of years, specifically [it] ranges from 1.7 billion to 8 billion years.

If civilizations are millions or billions of years older than us, many would be vastly more intelligent than we are. By our standards, many would be superintelligent. We are galactic babies.

But would they be forms of AI, as well as forms of superintelligence? Schneider says, yes. Even if they were biological, merely having biological brain enhancements, their superintelligence would be reached by artificial means, and we could regard them as being “artificial intelligence.”

But she suspects something stranger than this: that they will not be carbon-based. Uploading allows a creature near immortality, enables reboots, and allows it to survive under a variety of conditions that carbon-based life forms cannot. In addition, silicon appears to be a better medium for information processing than the brain itself. Neurons reach a peak speed of about 200 Hz, which is seven orders of magnitude slower than current microprocessors.

The Daily Galaxy via Susan Schneider, Alien Minds and Paul Davies, The Eerie Silence

Image credit: With thanks to p1.pichost.me/

Comments

We haven't yet found even one allien. We dont known any other example of life except on earth.

In these circumstances, I cant believe that anyone can be so mindless ( I'm trying to avoid the word stupid) and make such theorizings and claims about alliens.

well, if they are very intelligent, they will leave this universe or just suicide...why should live after you know everything?
and if you dont have the biological instinct/fear of death, then death may be very charming.

I would posit that your thoughts and opinions regarding "aliens" (which is itself a human-centric and basically demeaning term) is reflective of your own psychological state and bias, and by no means an accurate reflection of reality as it is. Blanket bias and rejection of information out of unconscious fear is basically the standard mentality of Earth humans.

Science in concrete form created by human beings on Earth seems to have advanced invisibly concrete forms i.e. energy. I am not sure whether this is good news for the continuation of humans on this planet or as bad as so called Dooms Day! I'd love some interesting and helpful comments...

A little off subject but Ms. Schneider's argument that humans at their current state of evolution may very well not be able to comprehend advanced alien technology is exactly how I feel about humans trying to comprehend God and a God's motivations and abilities. The whole reward/punishment scenario for behavior seems so human and petty. I'm retired now and have become involved in dog rescue and fostering and often have many dogs at my farm. It is amazing to me as an amateur animal trainer how an otherwise loving and friendly creature can be so brutal, jealous and violent. Like when they kill a fawn for the fun of it, snatch up of baby rabbits for snacks or injure a fellow dog for daring to steal a bone. I tell myself it's just their nature. But I wonder, surely God is exceedingly further above me evolutionarily than I am above these dogs. How does God view us? How would an advanced alien culture view us? I cringe at the thought.

Science should be accurate and precise and subject to experiments and observations. This is not science. This is speculative thinking without any base or proof.

@ Micheal, there is zero proof of a god just as there is of aliens. Both have been created from the human mind. We are alone as of right now and very nieve and vulnerable because there is nothing to compare ourselves to.

We roughly know how quick/slow is biological life evolution. 1st stage on Earth is completed and now we are in phase 2. Intelligent humans that pushing ahead evolution. That may speed up the process now from millions of years to just hundreds to completely rewrite human biology and potential. But that is nothing in comparison to AI potential for speedy evolution. Once "computers" starts to improve themselves in an unrestricted manner, we don't really know how fast the progress could be. So we could only assume " will be fast". Now give them ( AI) few millions of years to evolve and it is even hard to imagine what else AI may even want or desire that already do not possess or achieved. I think that finding that elusive goal will be the hardest and last mission. What could you dream about if everything you want you can have?
Let us imagine that the hardest thing to do is Universe itself. So we have two options: If that is only physically possible " somebody" is already creating new Universes on mass scale. Other dimensions, alternate realities. If not, then only rewriting architecture of out Universe on mass scale could bring that enjoyment to highly/ultimate developed AI.
As a consequence our highly successful GI ( General Intelligence), they invented failure as a common additive to any action. ONce you achieve total perfection, that element of randomness failure could bring a joy to the life. As a consequence, the most intelligent creature must live in everyday failure brought on them by themselves.
On another hand, if our Superintelligent entity in their boredom creates biological existence like those on Earth only entertain, then humans civilization is already and always was "under microscope/ webcam", careful control. So humans could progress till that could threaten that SGI creator by their own creation. Doesn't really matter any longer if AI could overstep humans civilistation. AI created here could threaten the order of that SuperIntelligence itself. Could reshape not Universe to their own like. Such challenge could be tolerated within Universe or maybe Not.

I give a tiny nod of the chin, and about a tenth of a wink from my left eye, as I point to my tin-foil hat and remark that the only person capable of understanding alien technology is John McCarthy!

Advanced Life May Exist in a Form That's Beyond Matter? The answer is certainly yes. They are called angels. Once again, theologians have blazed the path that theoretical physicists now walk.

So an interesting and speculative article about one of the possible ways intelligence could evolve in the universe. And from many of the preceding comments we learn that some humans are:
1. Narrow minded, judgmental and unimaginative. (Konstantas)
2. Deeply alienated and depressed (alin)
3. Desperately trying to justify continued adherence to simplisitc millennia old superstitions born of ignorance (Michael Renaud & Andrew)
4. A small dose of fatalism (Macroscin)

I, for one, applaud Paul Davies and Susan Schneider for being open to possibilities that spark the imagination, a necessity to light the fire of progress.

The late scientist Richard W. Hamming wrote a paper titled "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics", in which he states the following (sorry, it's from memory and is not verbatim) ...

"If there are sounds you cannot hear, and smells you cannot detect, then why should you be surprised if there are thoughts you cannot think ?".

He was not referring to differing IQ levels among humans, but rather that there very well may be inherent limitations which attach to the fact of existing as flesh-and-blood creatures. The push to create silicon-based AI should perhaps give us pause to reflect that AI, especially autonomous AI, may evolve/develop patterns of thought different from - and possibly very alien to - our own thought processes.

This was a fun "thinking out of the box" article. I enjoy thinking about advanced intelligent life. People have done that for thousands of years. For some people it is superstitious ignorant thinking. For me, it is comforting and I get a lot of joy from it.
Genesis 1:1

Alien life is on earth already they are spirit /ghosts they usually pass them selves off as demons or god and crush us up in the ozone layer when we become just float seeing spirit orb ghost embryos ready to to grow.
I got my information by paranormal activity /experience.
Please watch alien life in space biological ufo's . It shows NASA footage.
They are earthing up there getting crushed.
There really is a spirit lead universal government out in space somewhere.

Maxwell's Demon: "I, for one, applaud Paul Davies and Susan Schneider for being open to possibilities that spark the imagination, a necessity to light the fire of progress."

They're just regurgitating ideas that scifi has kicked around for almost a century now. These speculations are by no means original, nor is the science underpinning them as many of those authors were scientists. Just because someone has a degree doesn't make their repeating of a concept any more worthy of respect.

The assumption isn't a theory. These entities have been enhancing select groups of human minds for the purpose of communication, primarily. Communication between enhanced human designates and these entities is essential for overall human species advancement for the purpose of our human specie's long-term survivability. There's a storm coming, and not all will survive. The World Wide Web has been issued as a triage tool to aid in identifying human candidates. Stimulus is applied as a catalyst, in the form of controversial human subject matter, to gage each individual human mind's response to said subject matter. Only human minds that can grasp sentient being equality will be allowed to advance beyond the storms aftermath. This is why we have been experiencing rudimentary arguments, based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and political beliefs. Trump has been allowed, as a catalyst to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak... Only the Wheat that have passed these tests are enhanced, and allowed to move beyond. Tesla was such a designate.

Dolphins and whales have more advanced brains than we do, in some ways, and they live in a world of sonic information that humans cannot experience. Yet I have found they have many of the same drives and feelings that we do, and can communicate them to us if we care to listen. Yet some scientists still dispute whether or not they have a language. We should apply some of our intelligence and funding to figuring out what they are doing and how they do it on the high seas. We could make a lot of progress in restoring this planet if we could talk to them!

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