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RE: starship-design: unmanned missions, AI, etc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> [mailto:owner-starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu]On Behalf Of Jonathan J
> Jay
> Sent: Friday, February 13, 1998 5:42 PM
> To: lindberg@olywa.net
> Cc: starship-design@lists.uoregon.edu
> Subject: Re: starship-design: unmanned missions, AI, etc.
>    Along the first of the two, he suggested that written documents
> should be printed out every time the computer received new
> information, but that would take up quite an amount of space.

There could be autonomous hardware backups of the data without taking up
very much space.

>    For the second, it was suggested that defense mechanisms
> would be of use. Shields, without no doubt, should be added, but
> weapons are another matter.

Except we don't know how to build "shields". Weapons on an AI exploration
vessel - no way.

> If the encountered species saw
> that the ship was bristling with weapons, they would most likely
> attempt to neutralize or destroy it. Either way we would still
> probably never get it back.

If we are going to be that paranoid, a simple self destruct will do nicely.

Besides, if you look through the archives you will find a long series of
discussions on this. It breaks down into four cases: (1) Uninhabited; (2)
Inhabited, but pre-technology; (3) Inhabited, early space technology; (4)
Inhabited, advanced technology.

For cases 1 and 2, we have nothing to worry about, a fly by mission would
not be detected.

For case 3, we should be able to detect technology equivalent to ours from
as much as fifty light years away without sending a probe. We simply would
not take the chance of sending a probe into a system that we knew was
inhabited. (Or we would at least be darn careful about it.)

Case 4, is irrelevant, they can detect US from the same distance or greater
and probably already know all about us, so who cares?


                                                      (o o)

Where are they?
	- Enrico Fermi (Fermi's Paradox, sans preamble, 1943-50)