HUMAN civilization could be wiped out by ‘super predator’ alien artificial intelligence, says world UFO expert.
Nick Pope, the former head of the UK The Department of Defense’s “UFO office” told the US Sun that we may one day encounter “immortal thinking machines” created by an advanced civilization from elsewhere in the universe.
And he fears that alien AI sees competing life forms such as humans as a potential threat to its own existence.
But the groundbreaking technology may also help humans find a strategy to reach such a civilization or detect alien fingerprints hidden in data already available.
Speaking exclusively to The US Sun at a Secret Space Program conference held in Silicon Valley, Pope said, “What technologies would a civilization significantly ahead of ours have?
“Propulsion systems, of course; energy sources, but also biotechnology and artificial intelligence.
“Former NASA chief historian Steven Dick said that we may be living in a largely post-biological universe populated by immortal thinking machines.
“If we’re dealing with aliens and some of that is AI, instead of landing on the White House lawn, could that AI not be reaching out to our AI?”
The pope warned: “Could the first contact happen in this way?
“Stephen Hawking warned that it would be like when Europeans meet Native Americans, with all of humanity in the role of Native Americans.
“It also ties in with the Dark Forest theory, which suggests that all civilizations keep their heads down and don’t broadcast because of the fear that there might be some kind of super predator out there, possibly the AI.
“Any hypothetical alien AI was likely originally programmed by biological life.
“It may have either destroyed that original biological life or simply evolved and travelled, but any sentient AI program likely programmed self-preservation.
“His first principle would be not to allow himself to be destroyed by anything.
“If he then perceived that another civilization evolving at a higher level might destroy it, he might decide that the safest strategy would be to eliminate those civilizations before they became a threat.”
Pope said he is following recent developments in artificial intelligence coming out of Silicon Valley closely because of their potential impact on humanity’s search for extraterrestrial civilizations.
In particular, he keeps an eye on the history of the former Google engineer Blake Lamoine, who was fired by the Big Tech giant in July after claiming its AI chatbot LaMDA had become sentient.
Pope explained, “Advanced terrestrial AI could be our best early warning and our best defense.
“The AI could find a signal that we may already have, but may have been lost in all the available data.
“Maybe the AI could look for patterns in the hardware we already have and see if there are fingerprints, so to speak, that could be detected.
“With appropriate safeguards in place to prevent it from backfiring on us, we should rapidly accelerate our AI development and pay close attention to any programs like LaMDA that may already have reached sentience.”
Despite the terrifying prospect of humanity being wiped out by alien AI, Pope said the desire to make contact is simply in our nature – and could lead to a massive leap in scientific knowledge.
And he thinks there’s no point in trying to keep his head down and hide from any threat that might come from outer space.
He said, “First of all, I think it’s too late. We’ve probably been a detectable civilization for decades thanks to our radio and television broadcasts.
“And any telescope a million years before ours can probably read our car license plates.
“But the other reason is more philosophical and more fundamental.
“I think that if we had taken this attitude, we would never have dared to leave the first villages to explore the mountain range.
“We would never have traveled the oceans. We would never have been to the moon. If you want the human race to stagnate and die, of course keep your head down.
“But curiosity, the thirst for knowledge and the desire to explore are, I think, inextricably linked to intelligence, and that’s what we are as a species.”
He added: “We want to go out and see what’s going on, and I don’t think we can or should hide even if there are risks.
“If there are intelligent extraterrestrials out there a million years ahead of us and we can make contact, that could be the ultimate shortcut, like looking at the back of the textbook and there are the answers.
“Each field of science has its own set of unsolved problems – physics, computer science, mathematics.
“If there’s a civilization a million years ahead of us, they’ve probably solved all of these problems.
“They may have their own unresolved issues, but all of this information could exist if we can tap into it.”