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Would AI make a good ambassador for Earth in space?

Answer: Some think it might.

Robot sits at a laptop displaying a gavel icon
AI expert Andrej Karpathy on Thursday took to X to speculate on an interesting idea: Could large language models (LLMs) like the one behind ChatGPT be used to make contact with alien life?

Though he raised the question “just for fun,” it’s still an interesting proposal. “I envision it as a sci-fi possibility and something interesting to think about,” he told Ars Technica. “The idea that it is not us that might travel to stars but our AI representatives. Or that the same could be true of other species.”

Not everyone thinks it would be a good idea, though. There’s the concern that the AI could start hallucinating after too long, or that the delicacies of first contact might be beyond it. One thing everyone can probably agree on though is that the AI’s code would have to be the best code humanity has ever written: “Maybe one day we’ll ourselves find LLMs of aliens out there, instead of them directly,” Karpathy commented. “Maybe the LLMs will find each other. We’d have to make sure the code is really good, otherwise that would be kind of embarrassing.”