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Are most alien intelligences “artificial?”
1 min read

Are most alien intelligences “artificial?”

In just 150 years humans have gone from being able to harness electricity to radio to computers to internet to narrow AI. The universe is 13.8 billion years old, and life on earth 3.8 billion. In the last couple of centuries (just 0.00000005% of the time life has existed here) we’ve come to run the planet, and are talking seriously about colonizing others.

This rapid progression — together with Drake’s equation — makes it seem likely that many other lifeforms have similarly evolved on other planets, and that many (most?) of them are thousands or millions of years ahead of us. Can you imagine us in a thousand years? A million years? Given how far we’ve come in just the last 200,000 years you can bet that we’ll either be mostly synthetic or extinct.

Another thing to think about is that an artificial alien intelligence wouldn’t necessarily need a planet at all. At base it would need only raw materials and energy, which it may be able to gather/exploit in ways we haven’t yet figured out (e.g., from a black hole).

It seems to me then that given the timeframes we’re talking about, most intelligences out there not only are way beyond ours, but are artificial to boot.

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