Protoplasmic Life and AI...Who, Which and When
Protoplasmic life is life as we know it. It depends on liquid water, the right temperature range and supply of those gases and trace elements that enable its chemical reactions.
We are carbon-based. Carbon has the ability to form chains and complex branches when combined with other elements. This complexity also allows for replication, reproduction, and variation leading to evolution to new varieties and species. Most life forms (Plants and Animals) require oxygen. Most plants also require carbon dioxide and oxygen. Most of life thrives in an atmosphere that has adequate pressure. These are the conditions we find on earth today. However, they are rare and tenuous. We get all the elements we need by breathing, drinking and eating organic materials including essential minerals,
Planets like this are, likely, scattered throughout the Universe but we only know of a few right now. On earth, protoplasmic life has evolved to a high cognitive level which we see in humanity. Such evolution has relied on fierce competition. This has resulted in "Have's" and "Have-nots".
This is now threatening the continued existence of this level of life. In short, we are "fucking-up" our environment in a prophetically fatal manner. Due to our political structure on this planet, we may not be able to solve this before irreversible extinction occurs. Most of this danger has arisen in just the last three Centuries.
We are looking for other similar life forms in the Universe by sending signals at the speed of light, hoping for a reply. This takes a long time..... check the math! It is likely that any intelligent protoplasmic life will have already done what we are doing in destroying their environment through their own competitive greed.
Their only (kind of) salvation would be to have developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) which we are now tinkering with here on Earth. We may have to go the same route. AI units do not need so much of the restrictive conditions to further their survival. This does not mean it is my choice. My 'druthers' are fast becoming under the umbrella of "I remember when...." Things are not good right now!
The conclusion is that any aliens whoever contact, or visit us, are very likely NOT to be protoplasmic. So don't expect to find any of the squidgy stuff in a 'downed' flying saucer!
And, there is this!:
Some might say that if humanity persists in its present path, it deserves the cold stark reality which AI portends. A kind of 'Cosmic Justice'.