UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Interacting with Technological Sentience

In my current obsession with UFOs as AI probes, I’m finding that our communication with technology is woefully inadequate, even with technology that isn’t sentient.

And yes, technological devices have a remnant of sentience, infused by their creators, although of a sparse, primitive kind.

In UFO lore there are examples of UFOs interacting with humans, encounters of a third, fourth or and other kind.

I can cite a number of flying saucer encounters – and have already, previously (the Gorman dogfight, the RB-47 episode, the Tehran incident) – that bespeak attempts by the [UFO] technology trying to communicate with witnesses or observers.

But there are many others: the Robert Taylor event, the Michalak encounter (although Zoam Chomsky dismisses this as a hoax, I’m not seeing it that way), the Ezekiel contact, the Coyne helicopter approach, and maybe the Rendlesham episodes, plus dozens of others you can cite.
The problem, for those immersed in the encounters, is that they were interacting as biological creatures while the UFOs were trying to interact as technological entities, with sentience, following the thesis of Nick Bostrom (and others) about artificial intelligence.

If UFOs are AI probes, they’d be communicating with biological creatures (here on Earth), but not getting an response.

UFO witnesses (or “bystanders” like Coyne’s crew or the RB-47 fellows) would not have any idea that they were in the midst of an attempt at dialogue, the UFO “sentience” emphasized by what we’d call computer code or mathematical symbolism.

One might assume that UFO probes have tried to communicate with beasts of the earth or sea creatures (whales, dolphins, et al.) but receiving no response either.

The human contact(s) would be puzzling to AI probes with an advanced sentience, the response of humans appearing as incoherent chatter or babble.

How to communicate with UFOs (or AI probes, as I see it) requires a form of technological “speak” of a unique kind, something like binary code, but not that necessarily.

Flashing a light at a UFO or flying disk doesn’t do it, hasn’t done it. Talking to a UFO has produced no response, and in those cases where it has (allegedly) one can chalk up the experience to an hallucinatory cause.

No, there is a sentient aura around UFOs, whether green fire balls, lights in sky, or objects on or near the ground.

Getting through to advanced, AI probes requires a communication mode that is strikingly new, and very likely hedged by mathematical symbolism, or some arcane communication mode that worked once but since has been lost in the mish-mash of UFO reporting.

If Nick Bostrom is right, and I think he is – AI has evolved, perhaps, on (or, better, from) an advanced galactic civilization, and that AI is scouring the Universe for whatever reason, we should be trying to connect with it in some innovative and ingenious way, not the SETI approach which is hampered by human, biological linguistic overlays.
Interacting with technological sentience, either here eventually or from elsewhere now, is a discipline that those with remarkable imagination and genius would do well to undertake, if only to cope with the Singularity that Mr. Bostrom, Elon Musk, and Steven Hawking are fearful of.

A side product, for we UFO buffs, would be a tool or tools to use in UFO encounters, should some enlightened individual get within a stone’s throw of a UFO on the ground or in the air.



  • Rich,

    The AI approach has its possibilities for the UFO enigma, but we are still left with the lack of tangible evidence that this is indeed the answer.

    Assuming that AI vehicles have a modicum of systemic failure rates, this would mean that an undetermined number of probes may have crashed or malfunctioned on our planet surface. Where is this hard evidence?

    We can uncover the city of Troy (in Turkey), excavate the city of Pompeii and uncover dinosaur fossils from millions of years ago, yet we have not come across anything that would describe an AI system from another part of our galaxy.

    We are left, again, with stories that are fraught with transient psychosis at best.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, November 29, 2015  

  • Tim:

    Bostrom's AI "robots" are so advanced that there would be rare malfunction(s) but supposed one did have trouble, it would be able to repair itself.

    Did you read the New Yorker piece on Bostom's work and ideas? Or check out any of the sites by or about Bostrom that Parakletos provided?

    They will assuage your concerns about AI malfunctions.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 29, 2015  

  • Yes Rich, I slogged through the New Yorker piece. Self repair or self replicate is one thing, but there would still be a fraction of a percentage, if not more, that any system (no matter how intelligent) would suffer some sort of catastrophic failure leaving at least trace evidence.

    Are you assuming that these AI entities are programmed to clean up there messes?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, November 29, 2015  

  • Yes, Tim...

    I'm giving the AI probes almost "divine" abilities; the very thing(s) that scare the fellows mentioned: The Singularity.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, November 29, 2015  

  • I think flashing long prime number sequences at them would get their attention IF they were interested, but we might have to convert it to base-2 (binary) so as to remove our 10 finger base-10 prejudices.

    I also have to wonder whether or not such AI would NECESSARILY be so unfamiliar with humans. If carbon-based life is more or less common throughout the universe, it could be that these alien AI have already extrapolated quite a bit of knowledge about carbon-based units, albeit non-human ones.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Monday, November 30, 2015  

  • Tim,

    I think that you are presuming too much about their craft, are you not? Maybe they have left all sorts of evidence -- but we simply wouldn't recognize it as such even if it was staring us in the face? Or perhaps their craft is of a kind that would simply phase back to their reality upon experiencing such a catastrophic event. I take your argument to mean that you think not only MUST they leave such craft behind on occasion but that you presume that you'd recognize it if you saw it. Both are assumptions, as we are dealing with something nearly completely unknown.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Monday, November 30, 2015  

  • P:

    I think that we are all making assumptions regarding AI probes.

    Despite my arguing for the lack of tangible evidence, I believe that this to be a more logical argument for the ongoing UFO enigma (assuming that anything is "logical" when dealing with UFOs).

    We also are making assumptions that other life forms in our galaxy/universe have reached a point of "post humanism" as proposed by Bostrom. Perhaps we are the only source of of multi cellular organisms that have evolved to our present day assortments of species and the rest of the galaxy/universe is a world of single cell organisms.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, November 30, 2015  

  • I like the AI probe idea and who knows how a Bracewellesque intelligence would interact with us? It might operate on guidelines and protocols that seem nonsensical to us. If it was acting purely for its own reasons, it wouldn't necessarily have to act reasonably for our benefits.

    At the same time, I remain perpetually reminded of how reflective the studies of these apparent phenomena can be. Back in the 40s and early 50s, we didn't have the concepts we have today. We couldn't even imagine UFOs from beyond the Solar System and framed them as either foreign technology or interplanetary from Venus or Mars.

    That framing has expanded ever-outwards as our own understandings and terminology have grown. From interplanetary to outer space and from flesh and blood critters to robots and, more recently, AI probes. In my own speculations, I sometimes wonder about consciousnesses from Elsewhere travelling in (or being) objects we subsequently describe as UFOs.

    Such a thing would be hard to comprehend across several levels. An alien (to us) intelligence could operate on different values and one that's now a living 'digital' analogue of an alien (to us) intelligence is once more removed from our ability to conceive. Factor in technologies we don't understand and, presumably, vast scales of time and space and we're grasping in the dark.

    In both of our scenarios we will have to await more information and more terminology. I worry that our ability to conceive and discuss these matters is limited by the concepts and contexts available in the moment we speak of them.

    It should go without saying that I'm not arguing this as a belief; it's just a topic of discussion. A Bracewellesque scenario might run into the redundancy issue suggested by Tim Hebert's post. Also an endlessly copied iteration of an Intelligence would probably generate mutations in the same way our DNA does and for several of the same reasons. Maybe they's crazy?!

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, December 19, 2015  

  • By the way, hello and all the best this Christmas, Rich. Didn't forget my manners; just didn't want to clutter a post with 'good days' and 'how-do-you-dos.'

    I hope you're well.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Saturday, December 19, 2015  

  • Thank you Kandinsky...

    The best Holiday season to you also.

    (And as the title of this older post says, I miss your erudite interactions at the newer postings.)

    Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year (2016).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 19, 2015  

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