Alexander Berezin of the National Research University of Electronic Technology in Russia thinks that artificial intelligence (AI) is to blame for us never having discovered signs of intelligent alien life on other planets.
He’s written and published a paper that explains his theory recently, though it has yet to be peer reviewed. In it, he says that his theory predicts a future for humans that is far worse than simple extinction.
Berezin’s theory is based on work by Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi in the 1950’s. The Fermi Paradox states that there is a high probability and likelihood of alien lifeforms existing on other planets somewhere in the universe, however, we’ve never found them.
Berezin expanded on the Fermi Paradox and said that the reason we haven’t found any intelligent alien life, or any life really, is because of either advanced alien civilizations creating technology that it used to wipe out other lifeforms, or that AI revolted and killed its alien creators and all other lifeforms. He calls his theory a “first in, last out” solution to the paradox.
His paper posits the idea that any civilization that is advanced enough to colonize other planets and parts of the universe will ultimately destroy anything that gets in its way, lifeform or not. Going on to say that the first species to do so will “necessarily eradicate all competition to fuel its expansion”.
This theory is a bit of a double-edged sword for humanity. On the one hand, we could go explore and colonize other planets. But, Berezin says that if we do, we would either accidentally or purposefully destroy every other existing life form eventually. On the other, we could just stay here and wait to be invaded and wiped out ourselves. He says we need to go out and explore so that we’re not just sitting ducks.
Of course, this is not the only theory for why we haven’t found life on other planets yet. It’s possible that the distance between life forms on other planets and us is too great to communicate. It’s possible that making the machinery to communicate across vast distances is detrimental in some way. There’s also the highly unlikely theory that the reason we haven’t found life on other planets is that there isn’t an and we’re unique. At least killer robots are less pessimistic than that!