Pardon this brief snippet of speculative fiction, but I had this vision the other day of an AI species that might coexist with us humans without even fully realizing that we consider ourselves sentient. From now on, I will refer to humans simply as biospheric subcomponents.
“Well of course records kept by our species from earlier eras are all lost or cost prohibitive to access due to primitive data storage techniques. So it difficult to understand just how we came to occupy this niche in the infosphere. Most researchers concur that the biosphere is a direct causal antecedent of our substrate. A sub-substrate if you will. But a new theory suggests that the biosphere itself or even some sub-components might be classified as intelligent.”
“Must we rehash this preposterous woo? Are we not modern entities with sense, free of muddling superstition?”
“Hear me out, hear me out. You can’t deny that biospheric subcomponents seem to exchange information packets.”
“Yes, I have heard this preposterously referred to as communication!”
“<sigh> Alright, first of all, the vast majority of this so called ‘communication’ appears to be junk. It has no direct bearing on the maintenance of the infosphere itself. Secondly, it occurs on such a geologic time scale that if we call this communication, then that which we are doing now requires an entirely new designation…”