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Could first contact be made with robots ?

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« on: June 13, 2015, 11:26:58 pm »

Could first contact be made with robots ?
Posted on Tuesday, 9 December, 2014

Could an alien race have become post-biological ? Image Credit: IEEE Spectrum
Some scientists believe that the first extraterrestrials we encounter could be robotic in nature.
As technological advancement continues to outpace biological evolution our civilization may be heading in a direction that could see sentient machines overtaking biological humans as the dominant form of life on our planet.

While this certainly hasn't happened yet, on other worlds it may have already taken place long ago, opening up the possibility that if we were to come in to contact with an intelligent alien race then we might actually be dealing with machines - not people.

"AI researchers are doing quite well and most people in computer science think we are 50 years away from AI that is smarter than us," said Dr Susah Schneider of the University of Connecticut.

"So it looks like the next evolutionary step could be we are post-biological, we are sort of part computer in that people decide to “upload” themselves. Aliens will be vastly older than us, so it looks like they may be sophisticated forms of AI that are far smarter than we are."

Robotic life could have significant advantages over conventional biological life, especially for a spacefaring civilization that might spend centuries traveling from one star system to another.

Until then however the most likely extraterrestrial life forms we are likely to encounter are microbes eking out an existence on Mars, Europa or some other nearby planetary body.
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