Forget ChatGPT, Alien AI is much more scary | Tech News

What would the arrival of extraterrestrial life mean for humans? (Picture: Getty)

Worried artificial intelligence will take your job? Here’s an even scarier thought.

If alien life ever does make contact with Earth, it could itself be a form of AI – and communicate directly with our own systems, bypassing humans entirely.

ChatGPT greets ET’ is quite the headline, but that is the prospect being raised in new documentary God Versus Aliens, which asks questions, many questions, about the consequences for humans should we find we’re not alone.

Created by filmmaker and musician Mark Christopher Lee, as the name suggests it focuses primarily on religion, but takes in all manner of extraterrestrial conundrums along the way.

‘The purpose of the film is not to provide answers, but to start having a debate’, says Mark. ‘Because we might have to face these issues very soon.’

Possibly in a matter of days according to Dr Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist featured in the documentary who is currently running tests on fragments of a meteor he believes may prove the existence of alien technology.

Dr Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist at Harvard University (Picture: Boston Globe)

If he is correct, every country, and every religion, will face something of a reckoning. Will people rush to the pews, searching for answers, or see another life form as proof Earth is not exceptional, not the sole planet chosen to host life by a higher power.

‘I think it could go either way,’ says Mark, himself a Christian and science graduate. ‘Religious people or groups might see it as a second coming – or they might see it as an anti-Christ, such as the Rapture movement in the US.

‘But it could glorify God’s magnificence.’

Or challenge it. 

UFOs, or UAPs – unidentified anomalous phenomena – have rarely been out of the headlines in recent months, not least following allegations by former US intelligence officer David Charles Grusch that the US government has evidence of ‘intact and partially intact’ alien vehicles.

David Charles Grusch shares his testimony into alien craft before Congress (Picture: Getty)

He also alleged the Vatican played a role in the recovery of one vehicle from Italy, and that Pope Pius XII aided the sharing of intelligence.

The Catholic Church has a bit of a history with ET life. Monsignor Corrado Balducci, as highlighted in the film, was a Vatican theologian – and a famous believer.

‘Extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon,’ he said. ‘The Vatican is receiving much information about extraterrestrials and their contacts with humans from its embassies in various countries, such as Mexico, Chile and Venezuela.’

And yet, historically, religions have often not fared well when challenged. Galileo Galilei was put under house arrest for proving the Earth moved around the Sun, not vice versa. Likewise, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution did not sit well with senior members of the Anglican church, but both were many moons ago.

Believers in Creationism argue that dinosaur fossils and other evidence of evolution were placed there by God as a test of faith, and likewise the same could be argued in the event of extraterrestrial contact.

However, if that day arrives, it’s likely leaders of all religions will have a role to play.

‘We would need religious leaders, philosophers, politicians, society leaders to help us deal with the fact we might find ourselves insignificant,’ says Mark.

‘They may say there are millions of [civilisations], all over the universe. You’re nothing special, and you’re not very well developed.’

Tough to hear, but we haven’t yet cracked interstellar travel.

‘That’s one of the reasons people say there’s a cover-up, because it’s too massive,’ says Mark.

Filmmaker and musician Mark Christopher Lee (Picture: Mark C Lee)

‘I’m not saying there is a cover-up, I don’t know. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I think we should be talking about it, and I think the government should be more open about what they know.’

Who knows what and when was the subject of a recent US congressional hearing, during which Mr Grusch and two former pilots gave testimony about their experiences with UAPs.

‘You’ve got very, very highly-qualified pilots giving evidence under oath,’ says Mark. ‘They’ve seen some of this. They’ve got a lot to lose by saying all this in front of the world, and not much to gain – apart from ridicule.’

From left, Ryan Graves, David Charles Grusch and David Fravor testify during the House Oversight Committee into UAPs (Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty)

It is true that often mention of extraterrestrials or UAPs, especially talk of aliens themselves and intelligent life, is met with derision. The idea of other beings travelling to Earth undetected – when entire teams are specifically searching for them – and focusing much of their attention on US farmers seems implausible.

‘Ninety-eight per cent of what people see can be explained,’ says Mark. ‘Weather balloons, satellites, planets, stars, drones. ‘But there’s always that two per cent.

‘And this is a problem that affects the whole world, not just the US. I think it’s egocentric of them to take ownership of it, and if a government has technology that could benefit the whole of mankind, we should all see it.’

The UK itself has not ignored the issue entirely. The Ministry of Defence once ran a ‘UFO desk’, staffed by renowned journalist Nick Pope between 1991 and 1994. While the MoD said there was no evidence that any UFO sightings were extraterrestrial or were a threat to the UK, Mr Pope, also featured in the documentary, disagrees.

Yet in 2009, the MoD announced it would no longer investigate UFO sightings.

A blow, perhaps, to Prince Philip, who Mark says had a keen interest in the phenomena – and passed it down to his son King Charles, who he believes should put pressure on the government to reveal what they know.

Prince Philip had a great interest in the search for extraterrestrial life (Picture: Danny Lawson/Getty)

‘Prince Philip was always kept abreast of the situation,’ says Mark. ‘He attended meetings, subscribed to magazines, and his equerry used to keep him informed of what was going on.

‘And King Charles is head of the Church of England, so he needs to prepare his people well [should we make contact].

King Charles is leader of the Church of England (Picture: PA)

Who we will make contact with remains very much up for debate. What form extraterrestrial life could take has captivated people for perhaps millennia, but in 2023, there’s a chance it may not even be ‘life’ at all.

‘If we were going to send out probes to the deepest reaches of the universe, they’re going to be [carrying] artificial intelligence,’ says Mark. ‘It makes sense that they would do the same. There are some in the UFO movement that say this is what [sightings] have been, they’re not actually sentient beings but some sort of AI clone.

‘Avi Loeb also raised the scary prospect that their AI may just make contact with our AI and bypass humanity altogether.’

‘There’s also the theory that extraterrestrial life is so advanced it’s now just AI,’ he says. ‘It’s evolved from flesh and blood, is now just AI, and that’s what’s visiting us.

‘That could be scary, because I tend to think life is something special, that we have sentience, we have souls, and that distinguishes us from AI.

‘My hope is that there are other extraterrestrial beings somewhere that are the same.’

And if they are real beings, they may well look similar. 

Astrobiologists have long proposed that any life elsewhere in the universe will be built upon the same building blocks as that on Earth. In addition, to get to the point they can build spacecraft capable of travelling incomprehensible distances, they will presumably require a large brain, eyes, and dexterous digits. 

Technically Jabba the Hutt fits that description, but few expect any visitors to be too outlandish.

Jabba the Hutt is unlikely to make it to Earth (Picture: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

Language, however, could be a big barrier – but Mark is already planning ahead, with his album Songs For First Contact just weeks away from release. Working with Jeremy Corbell, an artist, documentary maker and ufologist in LA, he has been inspired by his research in the field.

‘I just need to get Elon Musk to send it into space,’ jokes Mark. 

After all, the two Voyager spacecraft are both carrying gold discs in the hope alien ears will one day hear them – and ‘music is the universal language of mankind’, according to the US poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (others argue it’s maths).

Born in 1807, he probably wasn’t considering the possibility of non-humankind listening in, but one of the most outlandish of UFO theories suggests they may already have done so.

Some factions believe aliens literally already do ‘walk among us’, having arrived in the distant past, or move between dimensions, and we simply don’t see them. That would at least explain their undetected arrival despite the many satellites scanning our skies.

Is the answer out there? (Picture: Getty)

‘Is what we’re seeing in the sky not actually extraterrestrial?’ asks Mark. ‘It could already be on this planet, original inhabitants of the Earth, who’ve evolved alongside us but that’s just something we can’t cope with. 

‘Maybe that’s why the government is covering it up – I think we could handle creatures from outer space, because we’ve been drip-fed the whole sci-fi narrative, but if it’s something more weird, dimensional beings or time travellers, it would be hard for us to comprehend.

‘I know it’s a bit out there, but there are serious people talking about this, and it’s a possibility we need to consider.’

Out there is right, but like his documentary, Mark is all about asking the big questions.

What happens if we ever make contact with aliens is one of the biggest, but he is hopeful the outcome will be a positive one, with a spiritual spin.

‘It could lift us to a higher level, it could help us come together,’ he says. 

‘The world’s a bit of a mess at the moment, as everyone knows, so they could save us from ourselves.’

God Versus Aliens will air at midnight on Friday on Ayozat TV (Sky channel 186) and on Amazon Prime soon after

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