Re: offtopic: Fermi Paradox, evolutionary filters, and life on Mars

From: Brian Phillips (
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 12:54:59 MST

Just as a crazy "what if" question.
What if the development of strong AI (Friendly or otherwise) is a
threshold/filter with a really really high kill rate?
  Say it is extremely difficult to develop workable uploading or strong
superintelligent AI... and full nano, any form of FTL, and near-lightspeed
travel is not possible without "transentience"....(say the odds for THIS
threshold are one in a billion, not one in a million like the others)
  You might have civilizations bottled up in a star system or a very few
systems for their entire life-cycle....assuming you need a strong AI to
a relativistic nanoship to spread to a star not in your immediate stellar
Would that be an intuitive hypothetical fix for Fermi?
  For an might speculate that only a species with a
"convenient" analogue
of neurophysiology ever manages to upload, and uploads are a neccessary
step between biological life and transsentient AI.

>>>in which case- where the heck are they?
> Remember the concept that technological intelligence
> requires passage through a number of evolutionary
> filters. First you have to have life, then
> intelligent life, then starfaring life, and only
> in the last case is the Fermi Paradox a problem;
> and if only one planet in a million makes it through
> each of those filters, then there could be 10^18
> planets in Earth's past light-cone, without it
> being unlikely that we're the first spacefaring
> intelligent species in this part of the universe.

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