If humanity ever grows up to the first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization, then it is extremely unlikely that these creatures will resemble traditional images of biological beings.
So says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer and director of the center for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence SETI. In the blog The Guardian, Shostak writes that contact with creatures more resembling artificial intelligence is most likely.
While we await the release of the Pentagon’s report on unidentified flying objects this month, UFOs and aliens are gaining momentum again. However, you should not count on any incredible data from the report. It is unlikely that it will indicate that the Earth has already made the first contact with another civilization.
I think that the likelihood of the presence of aliens in our galaxy is very high. But I don’t think they will hang in our aerospace. Not now, and not ever in history.
What would contact look like if it ever happened? Shostak believes that the expectation of greenskins and big-eyed aliens from science fiction is not worth it. Like many other images formed by popular culture.
All earthly beings are based on DNA blueprints and have a similar molecular composition. At the same time, not many animals look like humans in appearance. So extraterrestrial entities will be even less similar.
Any aliens that make it to our planet most likely will not be based on carbon-based life forms. Their thinking skills will likely not be based on the spongy mass of cells we call the brain. Their consciousness will go beyond biological thinking.
Simply put, these will not be entirely “living” aliens.
Due to the huge cosmic distances, the journey from system to system takes centuries or millennia. Such flights will be unattractive for biological life forms. But for AI, time is not a problem.
If you project the successes of humanity in terms of computers and artificial intelligence, aliens that appeared long before us could send AI ships to various corners of the galaxy. Even we ourselves can engage in similar plans by the middle of this century – to send small devices with AI outside the solar system.
Shostak is also not very worried about the safety of the Earth. He believes that first contact can be friendly. If not, then negotiations are always possible … of course, if the alien AI is generally interested in communicating with primitives.