Are Aliens Even Intelligent?
Presuming that we have been ‘contacted’ by them, and presuming that They are ‘among us’, I would venture to ask… are they but devolved versions of ourselves? Are they Us from the future, returned to find the point where their species veered off into idiocy and complete lack of originality?
I use the word originality in the sense of our common origins, what makes us One species, and not just a collection of attributes. To be sure, individuality is our greatest attribute. It is the most important thing about us. Our absolute uniqueness, but it is a grave error to define personhood by the natural attributes of humanity, because it isn’t nature-with-a-small-n that is meant. It is Nature-with-a-big-N (for a further discussion see Roland Barthes, Mythologies 1957).
Intelligence is intelligence, whether artificial or natural, the question is, is artificial intelligence even possible at all, or is it a failed attempt, or the result of a failed attempt at reproducing intelligence and replacing it with its infernal, degenerate cousin Artificial Intelligence, because that’s what it is. A cheap imitation of the real thing, which we have in abundance already, so why fix what isn’t broken?
But what if they’re already here?
Yes, what if… I’d like to think that they are, and if so, that they’re just letting us be. Giving us a chance to grow and the credit to do so without watching over us, as if it is their job. Giving us what we don’t even want to give each other, or ourselves, that is, credit for both our successes and our failures, and the ability to choose between them.
But if they’re just sitting there, wandering around among us, asking inane questions in repeated failed attempts to assimilate into our culture and civilization (as if it wasn’t hard enough without them) then I say, we’re better off without them.