Friday, July 14, 2017

Here's a thought...

A while ago I posited a plan to seed another world with life forms from Earth in a sub-light spaceship with today's technology. It would take a very long time to arrive but such a probe/ship would eventually get to its intended destination if the navigation was done right.  Here's another idea in that vein of thought.

It might be possible to travel the stars at light speed, albeit in a different form from what most of us imagine.  Lets say that we develop a true artificial intelligence(AI).  It seems likely to me that, given the direction that our science and technology is heading, we will accomplish this in the near future.  If we could create robotic space probes, driven by AIs with instructions and the necessary tools to self replicate, a fleet of such probes, travelling at modest relativistic speed could colonize the Kuiper Belt and some neighboring star systems in a few centuries.

If these probes were properly equipped, they could be instructed to build the foundation of a technology base on distant celestial objects (asteroids, moons, planets, etc). We could then, upload custom AI personalities, designed by individuals here to waiting AI androids on these distant worlds. While I cannot say for sure if it is possible to create exact copies of ourselves in digital form, we could consciously imbue such a digital "person" with our character traits if we had the right tools to program with. In effect, a sort of digital child could be sent, at light speed, to another world where a waiting android body could be animated by it.

This system, unlike much of the current sci-fi out there, does not require the creation of a new branch of physics.  We don't need to control gravity or find a way around the light speed limit.  Our existing understanding of the universe will suffice. More importantly, it gets around the limitations of our biology.  We are very fragile and we don't live very long.  But, an AI in an android body would have no such limitations. Time and distance would mean nothing to such a being. So while it would take a long time for the probes to reach distant star systems and build the tech base needed to receive new AI personalities, the AIs in question would eventually get out there. In theory, there really wouldn't be any limit to how far they could go.

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