Could chess truly serve as the key to communicating with “little green men” from other parts of the galaxy?
A team of scientists and engineers working on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) projects have devised a daring plan to initiate first contact with aliens.
They have prepared a message to be transmitted into space with the hope of eliciting a response. And what better way to begin a conversation than by extending an invitation to play chess?
Jonathan Jiang, co-author of the new “Beacon in the Galaxy” message from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explains, “We now know of the existence of thousands of exoplanets, many of which could potentially support technological life.”
He believes that compared to previous attempts at contacting alien civilizations, scientists now possess more accurate and detailed information, which could facilitate a deeper connection.
Philip Rosen, a retired energy engineer and co-author of the paper, highlights that chess can serve as a powerful tool for understanding the logical processes and strategies of alien civilizations. “Establishing a common ground of understanding through play would encourage deeper and more detailed communication,” Rosen suggests.
However, this mode of communication also raises concerns. Scientists are discussing potential technical difficulties and ethical aspects associated with such contact.
Anders Sandberg of the University of Oxford cautions, “A strong signal sent into space can lead to unexpected consequences.” He warns of the danger of attracting unwanted attention or even hostilities from alien civilizations.
Sandberg also emphasizes the importance of humanity learning how to make collective decisions before attempting to establish contact with alien life. He underscores the need to consider the diverse interpretations of messages, as what may appear universal to us could be entirely different for other civilizations.
Douglas Vakoch of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) suggests sending a multitude of messages utilizing various concepts. This approach would enable scientists to gain a better understanding of which methods are most effective and resonate with alien species.
Ultimately, the idea of using chess as a means of communication with alien civilizations is intriguing. Scientists remain optimistic as they explore diverse avenues to establish contact with unknown extraterrestrial intelligence.