The Global Catastrophic Risks Connected with Possibility of Finding Alien AI During SETI

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Abstract: This article examines risks associated with the program of passive search for alien signals (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI) connected with the possibility of finding of alien transmission which includes description of AI system aimed on self-replication (SETI-attack). A scenario of potential vulnerability is proposed as well as the reasons why the proportion of dangerous to harmless signals may be high. The article identifies necessary conditions for the feasibility and effectiveness of the SETI-attack: ETI existence, possibility of AI, small size of the Seed AI, small speed of physical interstellar travel and large distance between civilizations. Needed additions to the SETI protocol are considered: keep the signal existence, its content and source location in secret, don’t run alien programs, jam dangerous signals, wait until creation of humanity’s own AI. In addition, scenarios in which it may be reasonable to start an alien AI (if it has been downloaded) are explored.
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First archival date: 2018-01-23
Latest version: 2 (2018-03-16)
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