Aliens visiting Earth could be super beings powered by AI technology far beyond anything we know, an expert warns.
And they might be so advanced that they’re looking down on us like ants — so we have to hope they’ll “extend their tentacles in peace,” says Dr. Luisa Preston.
It comes as a new BBC documentary envisions how the world would react to an alien visit – from internet memes to panic buying of loo roll and guns.
dr Preston, a lecturer in planetary science and astrobiology at University College London, says we could have a lot to worry about.
She told The Sun: “We believe that if extraterrestrial life exists out there, it may be more intelligent than us.
“If you look at it logically, the universe is 13.8 billion years old, but life on our planet only began 3.9 billion years ago – intelligence is a relatively new thing to us.
“We think if we encounter life, it will be small organisms, or it will be far ahead of us.
“There is a theory that civilization has a lifespan, so it could be that these civilizations have evolved to the point where their civilization ends.
“Where they might have evolved to – who knows?
“Some people say that the next evolutionary stage would be artificial intelligence, moving from biological to technological.
“It is obvious that technology would outlive biology. Life on Earth is limited to our planet, but if something were to happen our technology would live on.
“We have the Voyager probes out there and rovers on Mars. There would be evidence of our civilization – it would just be technological evidence.
“Who knows what’s out there?”
And if we ever meet creatures from another planet, the first thing we want to know is what they look like.
dr Preston said: “I’d like to think that they’re not scary and that they’re a really nice kind of artificial intelligence that wants to befriend their biologically low cousins.
“The beauty of the issue is that we don’t know – and that’s the fun part.
“We’re using all the scientific evidence we know and trying to extrapolate ideas about what might be to come to help us find it.
“Theoretically, an extraterrestrial life form could look like anything else. It could be a stone, anything up to a sky whale.
“But there are certain things we see through evolution on Earth that are common among different species that aren’t related to each other.
“For example, the eyes have evolved between 50 and 100 times in different species.
“If you’re going to be an intelligent species, you need a brain and enough oxygen to run that brain and a hard shell to protect it.
“Having an arm and a leg on either side, so being symmetrical, has come up a few times in evolution.
“So maybe four limbs, six limbs, eight limbs – that would be possible.
“Tentacles of Peace”
“We’re not saying that intelligent life will look like us.
“But we believe there must be certain properties that have been shown to be beneficial in order for intelligent life to emerge that could potentially be exploited by extraterrestrials.”
“I am an eternal optimist and believe that any civilization smarter and more advanced than us is simply more tolerant, otherworldly and acceptable, and stretch out your tentacles in peace if that’s the case.
“I don’t think they would ever be threatened by us – it would be like trying to talk to an ant.”
dr Preston is one of the experts interviewed on First Contact: An Alien Encounter which aired on BBC Two last night.
It envisions the most significant event in human history when we finally receive a message from another life form.
Experts believe we just need to look at what happened as we went into lockdown for clues.
As soon as the first messages filter out, people do what they do best – use social media to come up with hilarious memes.
But over the next 12 days, the world collapses as contact with a terrifying alien species becomes a definite possibility.
Scenes in the docu-drama show people taking to the streets and beginning to clear supermarket shelves as panic sets in.
according to dr Beth Singler, we can expect behavior similar to that seen in the early days of the pandemic, when desperate shoppers stocked up on loo roll and pasta.
“With a signal that unclear, with no obvious intent and message, I think there would be a lot of uncertainty – and uncertainty breeds fear,” said the Cambridge University anthropologist.
“We see disruptions in people’s everyday lives when big events are happening.
“We saw this with the global pandemic, when people rushed out anticipating circumstances where supplies would be limited.
“I think you’ll see the feeling growing that I need to do something, so what can I do to prepare and I’ll go out and buy canned goods, I’ll buy toilet paper, I’ll stock up on water just in case.
“And that’s a way to make sure you’re still in control of the situation.”
After the first garbled message is picked up, the drama begins to unfold on day six when a scientist at an observatory spots a 120-mile-long object traveling at 20 million miles per hour.
News leaks and US military scouting for UFOs admits to being “unaware” before confirming it’s an “unidentified aerial phenomenon.”
Then riots erupt as Americans, fearing an imminent invasion, arm themselves with arms sales doubling across the country.
Others start buying telescopes and start looking up at the sky to see the object.
Meanwhile, people on Earth are beginning to figure out what their message to extraterrestrials would be.
Professor Michael Garrett, director of the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics, said it might be wise to “gather as much information before we send a message back”.
“We have this thing in our heads that is limited by physical size, but there might be other things out there that have a capacity completely beyond what we can imagine.
“It’s a bit like ants trying to communicate with humans.”
However, others are clearer about what we should be sending back.
“You heard the sound they sent us? I would send them an equally annoying message back,” says one man.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9671481/aliens-super-beings-artificial-intelligence/ Aliens could be an AI superspecies looking down on us like ants – let’s hope they like us, says expert