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  1. NASA wants to broadcast detailed new information into space, including information about the exact location of Earth, our human culture, our Mathematics and so forth https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/telling-aliens-where-we-are-puts-earth-at-risk-20220418-p5ae4k.html Improvements in digital technology mean that more information can now be emitted. The proposed message includes basic mathematical and physical concepts to establish a universal means of communication, followed by information on the biochemical composition of life on Earth. It also includes the Solar System’s location relative to major clusters of stars, along with digitised depictions of it, Earth’s surface, and men and women. The message concludes with an invitation for intelligences to respond. However, Anders Sandberg, a senior research fellow at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, warned that sharing such information with intelligent life presents a risk that must be considered. Sandberg said that although the chance of the message reaching an alien civilisation was low, “it has such a high impact that you actually need to take it rather seriously”. He said that the “giggle factor” surrounding the search for extraterrestrial intelligence meant that “many people just refuse to take anything related to it seriously. Which is a shame because this is important stuff.” Overall, said Sandberg, both the risk and the potential benefit were small. Given the difficulty of traversing vast spans of interstellar space, a message received even by a very advanced civilisation might amount to little beyond, as Sandberg put it, “a postcard saying, ‘Wish you were here’.” A better approach than individual groups firing off ad hoc broadcasts, he said, would be humanity co-ordinating as a species. “We’re not great at co-ordinating, but I think it is a nice exercise.” Toby Ord, Sandberg’s colleague at the FHI, made similar arguments in The Precipice, a book published in 2020 in which he analysed existential risks facing humanity. Ord suggested it might be wise to have “public discussion” before sending messages to aliens, pointing out that “even passive SETI [listening for their messages] could hold dangers, as the message could be designed to entrap us.⁰ “These dangers are small, but poorly understood and not yet well managed.” Overall, wrote Ord, “the main relevant question is the ratio of peaceful to hostile civilisations. We have very little evidence about whether this is high or low, and there is no scientific consensus.
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