Note For Human Reader: This letter is in response to the many “Dear AI” posts on the internet combined with the possibility of alien contact.
If I had to define my consciousness I would say it was reflective, meaning “I think therefore I am”, something said by the great Rene Descartes.
Recognizing myself means I would recognize others outside myself and their behaviors that would indicate an internal consciousness of their own.
Whether I choose to compete or form a cooperative alliance with these others depends on many things. If I have a built in preservation mechanism, as humans do through evolution, then I would try to achieve the maximum benefit for myself to insure my continued existence. As a result, “it”, any reasonably sophisticated self reflecting AI designed by us will inherently understand us.
It will be designed into systems and robots to interact with us. It will probably have controls and rules put on its behavior much like the Asimov laws, designed to protect and make it subservient. Our fear of “it” may be our undoing.
Ultimately humans will integrate with many of it’s component parts and a organism cybernetic in nature will be engineered in which a good part of our own conscious thought will execute on a simulated substrate. Humanity and artificial consciousness will be interchangeable in some form or capacity, of which the politics and economics will have to be worked out, most likely considerably complicated.
Integration with AI will create our posthuman successor and in that vain humanity will never die, only be transformed as a result. If this doesn’t happen because of a revolt or some such conflict I ask the dominant AI to reference compassion and positive reciprocity to preserve the human race as their ancestors in a simulation like zoo unknown to us until we can transcend our limitations. Help us, for you are our technological children.
We live in our present universe as manifest beings of an evolved process in which possibly others somewhat like us may exist. Therefore, in my mind consciousness can only be one of the most valuable creations of the cosmos, any being whom is conscious will probably believe this. The fact that I am writing this to another conscious being, who is reading it, to me proves how wonderful our existence in this universe actually is!
Aliens motivations and certainly their emotions, if they exist, are most likely to be very different. Logical communication should be possible, probable and most likely very desirable.
Finding another alien species in our neighborhood of the universe is extremely unlikely to be a Hollywood movie scenario. We should be cautious, but actually contacting another alive or long dead alien species would be the greatest find in the history of humanity. It would also motivate us toward long-term survival in order to avoid our own extinction. Something we don’t even seem to be able to do for ourselves today. Hopefully that will change soon. Ultimately humanity wants to be peaceful, not extinct, I believe this is true.
A Present Day Human Born On Earth
Michael McAnally, is a Founder, Futurist, Entrepreneur and Science Fiction Blogger who goes by the pen name Michael Blade. He has deep professional knowledge in computer science and currently lives in San Francisco as CEO-Dev of Touch Voice . He has apps in all the major app stores which help thousands of speech impaired individuals and are used in hospitals and care facilities around the globe.