AI Models Scenarios of Human Encounters with Extraterrestrial Civilizations

The first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization has been the plot of many science fiction works and a subject of debate among scientists. Some hope that aliens will come in peace, while others, like Stephen Hawking, believe that such an encounter will not bode well for us. American scientists have developed a software method that allows modeling this fateful encounter between civilizations to understand what outcome we should prepare for. It is more of a gaming model, whose code is published in a cloud service.

Stephen Hawking warned against reckless and hasty actions in searching for advanced extraterrestrial civilizations and believed it would be better for us not to reveal our presence at all. A team of scientists from Northwestern University decided to examine the consequences of such a meeting in the safe mode of a computer simulation. Leaving aside the technical aspect of the first contact problem and focusing on its nature, they developed the software platform CosmoAgent based on a large language model (LLM), reports Universe Today.

Employing mathematical models and transition matrices, researchers have created a system for quantitative assessment of the development trajectories of different civilizations. The model considers a wide range of potential life conditions in the Universe that dictate differences in worldview, cosmology, ethics, and science. The developers paid special attention to differences in morality and how these differences would affect communication.

Furthermore, the model considered each civilization in the context of five resources available to it to some extent. These are military potential, technological level, production, consumption, and storage. They not only serve as an indicator of the current state of a civilization but also determine its future development trajectory.

Civilizations in the model make decisions based on the prevailing ideology: pacifism, militarism, or isolationism. They can, accordingly, choose different relationship strategies, from cooperation to war for annihilation.

Of course, the model allows us to look at the situation only from the perspective of Earthlings who developed this language model. Its algorithms cannot cover the entire spectrum of possible outcomes of civilizations meeting. The program can be downloaded on Github.

A team of scientists from the University of Nottingham has newly responded to the question of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Assuming that intelligent life forms on other planets evolved in a manner similar to humanity, they calculated the number of civilizations capable of communication. It turns out that there are over 30 in the Milky Way galaxy alone. And all of them must be humanoid.

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