Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alien Robots

Hadhazy, A., Scientists: If Aliens Arrive, Expect Robots, CBS News, Mar 10 2011 (Hat tip: irrationaltheorist)
"If an extraterrestrial spaceship ever lands on Earth, I bet you that it is 99.9999999 percent likely that what exits that ship will be synthetic in nature," said Michael Dyer, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles (appropriately enough).

In civilizations advanced enough to travel between the stars, it is quite likely that machines have supplanted their biological creators, some scientists argue. Automatons -- unlike animals -- could withstand the hazards to living tissue and the strain on social fabrics posed by a long interstellar voyage.

Furthermore, nonliving beings would not have to worry all that much about the environmental conditions at their destination -- if the planet is hot or cold, bacteria-ridden or sterile, has oxygen in the air or is airless, machines would not care.

In short, don't expect cuddly, squishy E.T.s to come calling someday; instead, picture robots descending from the sky.


Quantum_Flux said...

Nice picture! Thanks OIM :)

We could either expect robots or cyborgs too, imo. It's very reasonable to think that aliens would merge with their machines prior to eliminating their biological makeup entirely. Alien cyborgs is actually a very old concept in sci-fi, actually something they had in Earth Vs The Flying Saucers...I suspect a lot of old sci-fi films may have actually been inspired by real life human contact with the aliens, and real life scientific concepts being researched as well. No doubt in my mind that the TV series The Twilight Zone and also The Outer Limits had some real experts on their team that actually knew a lot about the subject matter first hand.

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

These are likely to be small, too. But they will be programmed to recreate their masters, with a library to educate them, and explain who they are and their parent civilization.

Would they try to avoid inhabited radio transmitting planets?

They will be better able to survive space, which is clearly more hazardous than we have been led to believe.