In a surprising research, scientists at the University of Hawaii and Germany’s Sonneberg Observatory have warned that aliens could destroy Earth, and that too with a single message.
The scientists claim that extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) could send humanity a message hiding malicious AI, and that such messages should not be opened on the Earth.
“We should consider deleting messages from aliens without reading them to avoid havoc on Earth,” the researchers were quoted by Daily Mail as saying.
Not only do these messages have the potential to contain AI that can shut down power systems, opening them can also alert aliens to our whereabouts.
The study, titled 'Interstellar communication. IX. Message decontamination is impossible,' explains how a message from space may require the use of computers to display, analyse and understand.
“Such a message cannot be decontaminated with certainty, and technical risks remain which can pose an existential threat,” the researchers write.
“Complex messages would need to be destroyed in the risk averse case.”
The researchers have warned that the malicious message could wreak havoc with technologies on Earth, adding that aliens could send massages such as “we will make your sun go supernova tomorrow” to cause panic.
Researchers said aliens would rather send the messages as it would be more cost-effective.
The paper read: “It is cheaper for extraterrestrial intelligence to send a malicious message to eradicate humans compared to sending battleships.”
They even warned some humans could end up worshipping the aliens as gods after reading the secret texts, by hiding AI inside the message.
It said: “There could be a community on Earth in favour of letting it out for religious, philosophical or other reasons.
“If the AI promises to cure cancer, or offers a message of salvation, a cult could form."