Behind the Veil of Complexity: A Solution to the Fermi Paradox

The Fermi Paradox

Interstellar travel is hard. Even the fastest spaceship ever devised based on technology available today (let alone built) could have reached a maximum speed of three percent of the speed of light. Thus, it would have taken it roughly 130 years to reach Proxima Centauri — the nearest star. Given such numbers it might seem that interstellar travel and interstellar colonization were never in the cards.

Intelligence is Compression

My idea was triggered by Marcus Hutter’s article Can Intelligence Explode? Hutter is a theoretical AI scientist that has made huge contributions to our understanding of the nature of intelligence. Central to his ideas is the notion of the relation of compression and intelligence. We know compression from dealing with .zip files. A compression procedure takes some code and returns a shorter compressed code such that a maximal amount of the original can be recovered from the compressed version. It does this by exploiting patterns within the original. If you compress a music file, if the compression procedure is worth anything, then after decompressing it it will sound exactly like the original while taking less space of your hard drive.

The Veil of Complexity

My proposed solution to the Fermi Paradox is that advanced aliens that are able to pay us a visit have probably advanced beyond their original biological forms. But it would arguably be a mistake to think of such alien super-intelligences as clunky CPUs spread across their home planet or as armies of Cyborgs. Rather, the further such super-intelligences advance beyond our own stage the more they will appear to as as mere sources of thermal radiation, i.e. noise. Thus, such a godlike mind could even share our own solar system with us without making themselves known to us.

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Philosopher of mind, physicist, meditation practitioner.

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Peter

Peter

Philosopher of mind, physicist, meditation practitioner.