A follow up to my October 18th post 'Stray Dogs From Space' (below) where I theorized that any inteligent aliens would not want to mess with us because we would be so far behind them technologically, contacting us would be like visiting the Flintstones. There wouldn't be much in it for them...
Here is an edited section of a great piece by much more advanced minds than me, but it says pretty much the same thing...
The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots
Written by MADDIE STONE
'If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won’t look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It’s likely they won’t be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way. While scores of philosophers, scientists and futurists have prophesied the rise of artificial intelligence and the impending singularity, most have restricted their predictions to Earth. Fewer thinkers—outside the realm of science fiction, that is—have considered the notion that artificial intelligence is already out there, and has been for eons.
“Most people have an iconic idea of aliens as these biological creatures, but that doesn’t make any sense from a timescale argument...if we pick up an alien signal, it’ll be artificial life.”
The reason for all this has to do, primarily, with timescales. For starters, when it comes to alien intelligence, there’s the “short window observation”—the notion that, by the time any society learns to transmit radio signals, they’re probably a hop-skip away from upgrading their own biology.
“As soon as a civilization invents radio, they’re within fifty years of computers, then, probably, only another fifty to a hundred years from inventing AI... at that point, soft, squishy brains become an outdated model.”
Most of the radio-hot civilizations out there are probably thousands to millions of years older than us. That’s according to the astronomers who ruminate on such matters.
“Consider the fact that any signal we pick up has to come from a civilization at least as advanced as we are. Now, let’s say, conservatively, the average civilization will use radio for 10,000 years. From a purely probabilistic point of view, the chance of encountering a society far older than ourselves is quite high.”
It’s certainly humbling to consider that we may be galactic infants of beetle-like intelligence compared with our cosmic brethren. But despite their superior processing power, there’s a fundamental aspect of cognition our interstellar neighbors may lack: Consciousness.
It sounds bizarre,but the jury’s still out on whether any artificial intelligence is capable of self-awareness. Simply put, we know so little about the neurological basis for consciousness; it’s almost impossible to predict what ingredients might go into replicating it artificially.'
So should we be worried about aliens caring so little about us 'Stray Dogs' that they may prefer to put us out of our misery? Here is what Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, said about that...
"YOU DON’T SPEND A WHOLE LOT OF TIME HANGING OUT READING BOOKS WITH YOUR GOLDFISH. ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU DON’T REALLY WANT TO KILL THE GOLDFISH, EITHER.”
That is very reassuring...nice to know we Goldfish have a place in the Cosmos...