NASA Historian: Advanced Alien Cultures May Be Sentient Machines In A Post Biological Universe!

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posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 08:10 AM
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For starters, what would the level of a post biological culture be? What we’ll be looking at here is an advanced alien culture that is probably beyond even a Type 3 civilization, which, according to Dr Michio Kaku, has reached a technological level high enough to travel through and between multiverses as a matter of course! (We are still Type 0!)

The Post Biological Universe


The possibility exists that cultural evolution over the long time scales of the universe has resulted in something beyond biology, namely, artificial intelligence (AI). Such a post biological universe cannot mean a universe devoid of biological intelligence, since humans are an obvious counterexample. Nor does it mean a universe devoid of lower forms of life. Rather, the post biological universe is one in which the majority of intelligent life has evolved beyond flesh and blood intelligence, in proportion to its longevity.


Is it possible that advanced intelligent life exists where biology has morphed into post biological machines? The motivating factor is the inherent desire to improve mental capacity. Is it possible that highly developed alien beings have already reached a point in their evolution where, having reached the peak capacity of their biological brains, have taken the next logical step and opted for robotic brains equipped with artificial intelligence?

According to Steven Dick, NASA Chief Historian (as told to Ker Than in Popular Science):


This brain swap may not be as far off for humans as one might think. In only a few decades, the computer revolution here on Earth has produced supercomputers capable of performing more than a quadrillion calculations per second. (According to research by Hans Moravec, an artificial intelligence expert at Carnegie Mellon University, that trumps the human brain's estimated top speed of 100 trillion calculations per second.)

Some scientists speculate that in a few decades, an event called the technological singularity will occur, and machines armed with computer brains will become sentient and surpass human intelligence.

Civilizations equipped with technology light-years ahead of our own could have already experienced the singularity thousands or even millions of years ago.


What is the likelihood that such advanced robotic races exist? Given the limitations of biology as we know it, the force of cultural evolution, and the imperative to improve intelligence, it could very much be in the realms of possibility. And, if post biological beings do exist, would they be interested in us at all? Most likely the gulf between their minds and ours might be so great that communication would be impossible!
So is SETI barking up the wrong tree?


Image courtesy: whyfiles.


”We conclude that the conventional radio SETI assuming beamed broadcasts from targets - selected exclusively on the basis of the old fashioned biological paradigm - within the vicinity of our Solar System is ill-founded and has minuscule chances of success."
Cirkovic and Bradbury.


James Gardner, author of The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos answers an interesting question by Universe: (His first book, Biocosm, suggests that intelligence doesn't emerge in a series of Darwinian accidents, but is hard-wired into the cycle of cosmic creation).


James Gardner

Universe: You often cite Ray Kurzweil's ideas of our trans-human or post-biological future. As a writer, what do you think the role of writing -- or more generally, of culture -- will be in a post-biological society? Does the singularity necessarily imply an end to creativity and the arts as we know them, or simply a huge shift?

Gardner: I believe that culture and art will continue to flourish in a post-biological future. That future will build on what has gone before. Indeed, it will represent a fusion of the human and the trans-human. (As you saw in the last part of my book, I disagree with the pessimistic views of Arthur C. Clarke in Childhood’s End.) Because it will vastly expand the realm of intellectual possibilities and the sheer size of available cultural space, the onset of the Singularity should facilitate an immense burst of creativity and give birth to new artistic genres that we can only dimly foresee.


And…

Self Replicating Von Neumann Probes

How about the Von Neumann probes? These are self replicating sentient robots/machines possessing an extremely high level of artificial intelligence, way more advanced than human intelligence. These are pre programmed to eventually reproduce by the millions soon after their arrival on a planetary body with the help of local resources and these copies would then be launched by them to the next set of neighboring stars. This process would be repeated, over and over again, so that increasing numbers of identical probes would be involved in penetrating ever more remote regions of the Galaxy.

Advanced technologies required to build such a spacecraft would include highly sophisticated artificial intelligence, molecular self assembling nanotechnology, and an advanced propulsion scheme like anti-matter rockets, beamed energy, interstellar ram-jets or the more esoteric FTL propulsion.


Illustration of a Von Neumann Probe.
Courtesy: David Darling, in The Encyclopedia of Science.



Having dispatched copies of itself, a probe would begin to explore the star system in which it found itself. It would conduct scientific research and transmit the results back to the point of origin. It could also be used as a means of interstellar colonization by constructing an artificial life-sustaining environment and then implanting this with synthesized fertile egg-cells bearing genomes transcribed from the probe's computer memory.

Eiseley has suggested that the embryonic individuals of such a colony could be tended by robots, also built by the probe, until they were old enough to function independently. They would then be free to develop their own civilization around the host star.
David Darling.


Beyond the future!

So if we ever come in contact with an ET race, we could well be interacting with a post biological entity – a sentient machine of mind boggling complexity! Or something even beyond that? Looking far, far into the future, could post biological entities have no form, but exist only as pure forms of energy?


Image credit: Roger Johnston.

Cheers!



Refs:

www.dailygalaxy.com...
www.setileague.org...
www.daviddarling.info...
whyfiles.org...
David Darling
www.urbanhonking.com...









[edit on 13-8-2008 by mikesingh]




posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 08:40 AM
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Thank you for this excellent post, mikesingh! Very interesting stuff. And we are already taking babysteps towards a post biologial future:


First Humanoid Robot That Will Develop Language May Be Coming Soon

ScienceDaily (Mar. 4, 2008) — iCub, a one metre-high baby robot which will be used to study how a robot could quickly pick up language skills, will be available next year.

Professor Chrystopher Nehaniv and Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Computer Science are working with an international consortium led by the University of Plymouth on ITALK (Integration and Transfer of Action and Language Knowledge in Robots), which begins on 1 March.
ITALK aims to teach the robot to speak by employing the same methods used by parents to teach their children. Professor Nehaniv and Professor Dautenhahn, who are European leaders in Artificial Intelligence and Human Robot Interaction, will conduct experiments in human and robot language interaction to enable the robot to converse with humans.
Typical experiments with the iCub robot will include activities such as inserting objects of various shapes into the corresponding holes in a box, serialising nested cups and stacking wooden blocks. Next, the iCub will be asked to name objects and actions so that it acquires basic phrases such as "robot puts stick on cube".


Meet iCub:


www.sciencedaily.com...



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 09:24 AM
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Welcome to the nightmare world of tecnocratic transhumanism, where a couple of second rate philosophers and elitist aristocrats plan the demise of not only the human race but the entire biosphere.

If I thought there was a bright future in transhumanistic machine based lifeforms I could go along with this, but am I the only one that thinks this is madness? We don't even realise the full potential of our biological systems because we are too ignorant and misslead, and we are supposed to believe there is a bright future in turning into a terminator type nightmare?

We need to heal ourselves and realise that the true role of tecnology is not to replace us but to complement our own living spiritual and fraternal humanity. Anything less is to be fought for the mad delusions of arrogant scientists and authors, imho.

I've read the sci-fi about this, it falls short of the wonderfull complex reality we already enjoy as living biological entities. Not only that but a lot of the current probelms we endure are actually caused by the very transhumanist philosophies, which are very present in medicine for example, that are supposed to make our lives better but instead are resulting in a slow decline of western civilization.

Wake up would be the meme to end this post with.

[edit on 13-8-2008 by Zepherian]



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by Zepherian
Welcome to the nightmare world of tecnocratic transhumanism, where a couple of second rate philosophers and elitist aristocrats plan the demise of not only the human race but the entire biosphere.

If I thought there was a bright future in transhumanistic machine based lifeforms I could go along with this, but am I the only one that thinks this is madness?



First Law:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law:
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law:
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


I hope they have some sort of preprograming with these basics replace human being with inteligent life.


[edit on 13-8-2008 by SLAYER69]



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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"So if we ever come in contact with an ET race, we could well be interacting with a post biological entity – a sentient machine of mind boggling complexity! Or something even beyond that? Looking far, far into the future, could post biological entities have no form, but exist only as pure forms of energy?"

OR...
Maybe Pure Form of Energy is origin of intelligence? Maybe biological entities are just creation done by this Energy?
Maybe we humans are artificially created as all biological life?
That would explain our religion and our myths.
It would also explain our path of evolution...


Great post btw
Greetings



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:08 AM
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Well, I won't argue that machines could over time reach the complexity of biological lifeforms. What I don't understand is why would even need to make the switch, when there is so much potential in the current organic life base we occupy. To me it seems two steps backwards and one step forward.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:19 AM
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This is maybe the best and most logical theory I've read on this board since I became a member of this community. It offers a possible solution to many questions I am struggling with. This will be the first topic im gonna flag !



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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It would seem that immortality is part of the keys to space flight and time travel. We've already seen some of these suggested in our alleged science fiction such as Star Trek.

We often overlook how we receive much of this information over the air waves. Jump gates and powerful computers could be hidden and or cloaked from view just about anywhere and even mobile in these androids.

I've probably already met some of these alleged machines or guardian angels etc. And they were apparently very heavy. It's my understanding that they use some type of collective radioactive engergy for their own power and use this for various purposes such as spontaneous tissue regeneration or healing. The christ figure may have been one of these also. But, this could also be misleading and quite the opposite. We already make reference to OOBE or astral travel.

So, it's my guess since this energy is so abundant, that it's used most often and is probably another one of the keys to life and nature.

I suppose this youtube has been posted here before.

www.youtube.com...

Our ability to escape from dying worlds might be using this type of travel also. This has also been suggested in some Star Trek episodes using jump gates. A collective consciousness doesn't have to be physically oriented in a biological form, but, possibly in stasis form such as a crystal. A persons consiousness and personality could then most likely be duplicated or cloned.

These machines could just be portable jump gates that look like averge humans. If we can imagine it, most likely they're capable of having already done it.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Zepherian
Well, I won't argue that machines could over time reach the complexity of biological lifeforms. What I don't understand is why would even need to make the switch, when there is so much potential in the current organic life base we occupy. To me it seems two steps backwards and one step forward.


Well, because it is possible that highly developed alien beings have already reached a point in their evolution where, having reached the peak capacity of their biological brains, have taken the next logical step and opted for brains equipped with artificial intelligence.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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I just hope we never need a John Connor
to save us.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Res Ipsa
I just hope we never need a John Connor
to save us.


Or an Admiral Adama to lead the last 39,000 human beings as we run for our lives from mechanical pursuers intent on eradicating the human race...

I for one, firmly believe that what Mike has posed here is possible. While we, as humans, have yet to even get close to our biological limitations, other races, perhaps billions of years older than ours, may have reached that point eons ago. I don't however, think that a reaction to an alien race that has moved to a mechanical foundation of existence should be any different than a biological race. I mean, artificial intelligence is still intelligence. What makes our intelligence non-artificial? Our nervous systems are nothing more than electrical impulses fired between transmitters and receptors.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by Zepherian

We need to heal ourselves and realise that the true role of tecnology is not to replace us but to complement our own living spiritual and fraternal humanity. Anything less is to be fought for the mad delusions of arrogant scientists and authors, imho.


[edit on 13-8-2008 by Zepherian]


Amen to that!



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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Reply to Mikesingh:

It's possible to jump off a ledge and kill yourself, but most of us try not to function by imitation when it's not in our best interest. Ie, sure, some species might have gone artificial, but should we?

I guess the crux of the matter is defining peak potential of our human brain, and I would add whole body-energy being complex. As someone who is more in tune than a lot of people, to me it seems that transhumanists usually are not in tune with themselves, and use technology as a replacement for their own lack of empathy with nature and indeed themselves. This is something you guys need to think about seriously before putting brains in jars, because you are nowhere near peak human potential imho.

[edit on 13-8-2008 by Zepherian]



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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I think there will be a mixture of both because at the end:

we are biological machines, aren't we?



ps: and, regarding immortality:

Scientists have stopped the ageing process in an entire organ for the first time, a study released today says.
www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/08/11/2331197.htm?site=science



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Zepherian
 


Agreed to a point. But let's see what the Intelligence Principle is:

"The maintenance, improvement and perpetuation of knowledge and intelligence is the central driving force of cultural evolution, and that to the extent intelligence can be improved, it will be improved.

Applying this principle to life in the universe, extraterrestrials will have sought the best way to improve their intelligence, and may have long ago advanced beyond flesh-and-blood to artificial intelligence, constituting a post biological universe."
- Dr. Steven Dick

Would we follow the same principle? I daresay, 'yes' as this is probably a natural progression in universal evolution. At present, we use just about 10% of our brains. In the distant future we may have reached the point of saturation where even the full power of the brain becomes a limiting factor. The only alternative is to progress with AI as part of the evolutionary process. Stagnation goes against the very grain of evolution. And that's when we enter the post biological phase.

Further down the line, perhaps a few billion years from now, we may morph into pure energy beings with no bio baggage! Hard core sci-fi, what? But that's probably what lies ahead in the far distant future. After that? Well, I can't even begin to comprehend! Perhaps all this energy would merge to become .....God?? And engineer another Big Bang to create another universe? Like ours?! Now, am I at the threshold of understanding what God is, after all?


Heck! This is frying my brains. I'm heading for some chilled beer to cool off, some!


Cheers!





[edit on 13-8-2008 by mikesingh]



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 02:04 PM
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I think sentient robotics is a part of et lifeforms and technology, however, its not that simple.
There is the whole element of hybrids and bio-genetic manipulation of abductees to account for as well. There seems to be a mingling of both sentient artificial robotics and biological entities.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 08:27 PM
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This reminds me of the "new" Cylons on the new Battlestar Galatica...



The Cylons were created by Man.
They were created to make life easier on the Twelve Colonies.
And then the day came when the Cylons decided to kill their masters. After a long and bloody struggle, an armistice was declared.
The Cylons left for another world to call their own.
A remote space station was built...
Where Cylon and human could meet and maintain diplomatic relations.
Every year, the Colonials send an officer...
The Cylons send no one.
No-one has seen or heard from the Cylons in over forty years... ---Opening text of the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries


The "new" cylons are "artificial" humans, "synthetic" if you will, but nearly impossible to distinguish from REAL humans.




Humanoid Cylons[1] are the quintessential Cylon form in the Re-imagined Series. These Cylons biologically mimic human form so completely that they are nearly undetectable to current Colonial technologies. Humanoid Cylons have the capacity to emulate many human physical acts, including sex. They also display convincingly human personalities (affection, jealousy, sadness, anger, sense of humor, religious faith, etc.) This behavior continues even when interacting with other Cylons outside of Colonial scrutiny, clearly establishing that their personalities are genuine. The humanoid Cylons are responsible for masterminding the complete destruction of the Twelve Colonies through their use of sabotage and infiltration.





They sure look good to me!

Battlestar WIKI entry on Humanoid Cylons...



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by mikesingh
 



Great thread mikesingh.

I have often thought along these lines myself. I find it very amusing how people assume that there is no life upon certain planets when there could be robotic life or even beings of pure energy.
Just because the environment is not like ours life couldn't exist? Whatever...

Some people may have a hard time deciding if a robot would be considered a living being, but in my opinion if it has intelligence and thinks and acts on its own it is a living being.

I do find it a bit frightning when I think of robots living and existing with us, but if some of the laws SLAYER69 described were put into place it would comfort my fear!!

Cheers

Tiste



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:19 PM
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I'm sorry, NASA historian?


What?




posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 10:39 PM
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Im sure you guys will fry this remark....I'm used to it.

Basically Im a Christian Mystic and I have experienced enlightenment including levels of existence and beings that make up subtle/fine levels of energy.

This is already a reality. There are tons of beings all around us, angels/demons, the souls of the dead and other strange beings that are made of pure energy.

I remember reading a near death experience and the person was shown how reality on earth will be in a thousand years or so. The population was very small because most people travel between earth and other newly inhabited planets and dimensions.

Those people that still were one earth at this time were pure energy and can bring the vibrational level of themselves down to solid matter, and raise back up to something more refined/finer.

In this state was complete harmony with nature, other people, other beings, and God.

WHile I do agree before we get to the above mentioned state, most likely there will be John Connor type situation. But after this resolution will come the human singularity with pure energy/or God.

Perhaps John Connor in the future will be the Second comming of Christ, and the rapture will be those that are prepared who will make the shift into pure energy.

These are all realities that are comming soon!!!!!





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