No one knows exactly what to expect if we encountered other forms of alien life. Would they talk like us? Look like us? Or would they be completely different?
What if, instead of encountering organic alien life, we met alien artificial intelligence? What could alien technology look like? What might it be able to do? And should we be afraid of something like this?
Humanity has dreamed up some pretty crazy technology. And we’re not too far away from having our tech look like its come out of a sci-fi movie.
But it’s safe to say that if aliens created technology, it would be a lot different than anything we could dream up. So, what types of alien AI could we possibly see?
Nobody knows what life on other planets will be like. But the first form of alien technology we could encounter might be some sort of alien probe.
This would be tasked with finding or communicating with us. The probe would fly throughout the galaxy in an attempt to find some sort of life.
It would either be wandering and searching aimlessly, or it would have some designated mission. And once that’s completed, it would record any signals it found and bring them back to the alien homeworld.
The issue with this is us being able to discover it. The Universe is a big place, and the alien probe might be too far away for us to detect it.
It might not want to communicate with us, and if it does, we might not know how to receive its message, or understand what the alien probe is trying to say to us. So if we can’t communicate with the aliens, and they’re just simply observing us, what would happen next?
Well, now that we’ve been discovered by alien technology, a number of things could happen. We could witness more of their technology coming to Earth. This could be in the form of a machine that could terraform our entire planet.
This would be very, very bad. That’s because this form of alien technology would be used to alter our Earth in whichever way its creators please.
They might want to change Earth’s atmosphere, temperature, or physical features. And in the process, the human race would most likely become extinct.
No matter how many missiles and bullets we throw towards this thing, there would be virtually no way we could stop it. I mean c’mon, this thing is meant to completely alter planets! You think a gun will help you fight this thing off?
If we’re lucky enough to avoid our home planet being taken over, we may get sent raw material drones. This form of AI would harvest metals and gases from us and bring them back home. So yes, this would still suck, but we could at least have some chance of surviving this one.
So we’ve seen all this alien technology but, when do we get to meet the actual aliens? Y’know, the green guys with funny heads?
Well, there’s two ways this could go. One is that aliens come, and they take over our planet and resources.
That’s because, with all this incredibly advanced alien technology, there’s the possibility that the aliens aren’t even around anymore. Just like the way we fear AI and robots taking over humans, that may have happened to aliens.
While they were creating this advanced AI, the aliens may have given it too much power. And once that happened, their AI took over and extinguished the alien race.
And then, we could have the exact same thing threatening to destroy us. So as cool as it might sound, alien AI wouldn’t be the best thing for us to encounter.
- “The Fermi Paradox”. 2014, Tim Urban, Wait But Why.
- “We’re told to fear robots. But why do we think they’ll turn on us?”. Steven Pinker, 2020. Popular Science.
- “If Aliens Are Flashing Laser Beams at Us, We Now Have a Way To Detect Them”. Childers, Tim. 2019. space.com.
- “How Would Humanity React If We Really Found Aliens?”. Howell, Elizabeth. 2018. space.com.
- “Declaration of Principles Concerning the Conduct of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” 2020. resources.iaaseti.org.
- “Drake Equation”. 2020. seti.org.
- “How to Terraform the Moon”. Benford, Gregory. 2014. Slate Magazine.
- “9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet”. livescience.com.