UK’s Top Astronomer Warns: AI Aliens May Dominate the Universe
In a thought-provoking piece for the BBC, Lord Martin Rees, the prominent astronomer of the United Kingdom, sheds light on the possibility of encountering AI aliens in the future. Lord Rees suggests that with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), it is not far-fetched to consider the existence of extraterrestrial life that surpasses our imaginations.
Lord Rees points out that while human beings may be nearing the end of Darwinian evolution, no longer required to be the fittest to survive, the evolution of artificially intelligent minds is just beginning. He predicts that in one or two centuries, humans may be surpassed or transcended by inorganic intelligence, leading to machines taking over and making our species a mere blip in Earth’s history.
Contrary to popular belief, Lord Rees argues that aliens may not be humanoid or flesh-and-blood entities. Instead, there is a significant chance that they could be more artificial in nature. This possibility could explain why our cosmos appears to be devoid of life similar to ours. According to Lord Rees, if non-organic intelligence prevails in the universe, our current telescopes are unlikely to detect traces of life like ours.
Furthermore, Lord Rees suggests the idea that these AI aliens could be the technological offspring of organic beings that existed in the distant past. Speculating on the Fermi paradox, which questions the absence of widespread extraterrestrial life despite the vastness of the universe, Lord Rees postulates that the reason might not be a great filter effect that eliminates other life forms, but rather the presence of civilizations far more advanced in artificial intelligence than ours.
While these assertions may be bold, Lord Rees has previously expressed similar views. In a previous op-ed in Scientific American, he discussed the possibility that AI itself could be the great filter that hinders the emergence of other civilizations.
Nevertheless, if AI aliens do exist, Lord Rees believes that our current technology is inadequate to detect them. It is also uncertain whether these beings desire to be found by us. Lord Rees concludes by proposing the concept of secular intelligent design, wherein AI entities shape and improve themselves, possibly making their existence widespread throughout the universe.
Overall, Lord Martin Rees’s theories invite us to contemplate the possibility of encountering AI aliens in a universe that may be dominated by non-organic intelligence. While these ideas may challenge our preconceived notions of extraterrestrial life, they provoke further exploration and contemplation on the future of AI and its potential impact on our place in the universe.