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Thread: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

  1. #1

    Default Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    http://www.phys.org/news/2019-09-evo...elligence.html

    As our computing power continues to grow, we find that we can more easily model the world that we live in. This physical modeling is able to capture the behavior of objects, machines, planets, and galaxies, but it can even begin to imitate the behavior of living organisms. Recent advances in machine learning algorithms, memory capacity, and processing speed have even made it possible to simulate the evolution of multitudes of creatures over thousands of generations.

    What we have found is that, of course, Darwin was right all along. Creatures with reproductive capability and no specialization for or comprehension of their surroundings can, in a matter of generations, become masters of their environment. With unlimited resources and energy, I would speculate that further research into this phenomenon would result in Skynet (or maybe something that considers us less than ants and disregards us in a similar fashion).

    But, if this is true, then it makes me begin to wonder... how rare must it be for chemical life to happen by chance in the universe? If it is true that intelligence is such a natural quality to emulate/engineer in any environment, then why is life, much less intelligent life, so rare in the universe? We have been looking ever since we have been capable of doing so, and yet we havenít found any other creatures.

    I have more thoughts on this, but Iíd like to hear what you all think, too. If youíre interested, then I think that this could be a great conversation! So... what say you?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    Because the universe is really freaking big and really freaking old. On that scale our brief stint as intelligent species may pass by other intelligent species by millions of years. And space travel may be ridiculously impractical

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox
    Last edited by Robby; September 22nd, 2019 at 01:47 PM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    I hear what you’re saying and agree with you for the most part, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if there is more to it than that.

    Yes, the universe is extremely large, and sparse, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of other candidates even within our own solar system for supporting life like our own. There’s even speculation that creatures like tardigrades may have preceded all other life forms on Earth and may even have extraterrestrial origins.

    Regarding the impracticality of interstellar travel, I also agree with you here, but only considering what we currently know about physics and the universe, which is practically nothing. I’m of the opinion that interstellar travel is not only possible but perhaps easy with a few leaps in spaceflight technology. It’s only taken us some ten thousand years to arrive here when we only knew how to hunt and gather before, so I think that neither of us can really even begin to imagine what we or our successors will be capable of in another thousand.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Also, I’d like to point out that yes, the Universe is probably about 14 billion years old, but the Earth has been around for the last 4.5 billion years or so. So, I wouldn’t say that the universe is really all that old.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    In comparison to the stars and planets themselves it's not that old, but compared to the things living or just existing ON those planets, it's really freaking old.

    Out of the billions upon billions of planets out there, there is most definitely organic life. Whether any of that is intelligent is the question.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    I agree!

    I think that there’s a deeper reason to why we haven’t found other intelligent life yet, and it might have to do with the fact that a life form capable of interstellar travel would probably think of us as curiosities or pests, at most.

    Then again, I also think it’s entirely possible that we’ve encountered intelligent life already, perhaps many times, and were simply so different from it that we didn’t think of it as something other than nature.

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    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    I like to think of the aliens called Elcor which were created for Mass Effect. While they could talk things like scent and subtle movement were much bigger parts of their language, so they had to adjust their talking to actually be able to converse properly with the other species.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    Never played those games, but I’ve been told that the lore is good and extensive. Might have to give them a go one day.

    But personally, I think the differences could go way further than that. For all we know, there might be lifeforms that live on time scales many orders of magnitude above or below our own. It really boggles my mind to think about it, but I find the concept so fascinating!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    It's excellent world building. A fun trilogy all around. Forget the fourth game.

    There's also size to consider. What's big and small to us could be very different to others. Hell, it could be Horton Hears a Who difference where the closest intelligent species is like smaller than a flea.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    https://www.phys.org/news/2019-09-lurkers-seti.html

    Here’s another really interesting article about interstellar travel and an approach to finding extraterrestrial intelligence that has been underutilized (until now). It would be very interesting to see if any of our coorbiting objects are indeed lurkers from an ETI...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    All this talk reminded me of this tweet.

    https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status...66234419994626

  11. #11

    Default Re: Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, and Extraterrestrial Life

    Neil is a smart guy and all, but I often disagree with his pessimistic outlook on life, the universe, and everything.

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