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DigitalBlue's avatar

What would/will the world be like when other animals reach levels of intelligence comparable to ours?

Asked by DigitalBlue (6453 points ) October 23rd, 2012

I hope there are no misunderstandings. I know that many animals display various levels of intelligence, some might even argue that certain animals may be more intelligent than us in their own ways.

Do you think other species will ever reach a degree of intelligence where they have the capability to compete with us?

If so, when do you think that might happen?

If it does, or if you just want to imagine and run with it, what would the world be like?

What animals do you think would be first? How would we coexist with other highly capable animals sharing the same space?

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20 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

How do you know they haven’t and are just too smart to tell us?

marinelife's avatar

No, they won’t.

marinelife's avatar

@DigitalBlue There is no evolutionary imperative for them to keep increasing their intelligence to fit in their evolutionary niche.

DigitalBlue's avatar

“or if you just want to imagine and run with it” :)

wundayatta's avatar

There is no way another animal on earth could catch up unless we somehow bred it and taught it. Generally we only do that in order to get a service of some kind. The only animal that could conceivably be useful is the chimpanzee, or perhaps another member of the ape family. You need fingers with opposable thumbs in order to be able to do anything useful.

Whatever animal it was would have to learn how to use symbols to communicate with. That would take a long time, I think. So far, I think we’ve got chimps to use fewer than 500 symbols. Not enough to be considered intelligent.

I have no idea how to put a date on a time when them might know 20,000 symbols. Maybe if we find a way to mechanically enhance their computing power. Let’s say we develop a program that does that in the next 50 years. So we’ve got these chimps with metal brains attached to their heads (more to let folks know they are enhanced than because it would be hard to implant the computing power inside their heads).

So now we’ve got these chimps with the intelligence of toddlers. And the animal rights people want to liberate them and give them voting rights. The chimps, meanwhile, only want to go to amusement parks, where they climb around on the roller coasters. Also they have fornication problems. Often they attempt to copulate with the female human animal rights advocates.

This causes great consternation, as the women are not at all sure they want these “boys” voting now. The female chimps are smarter than that, and they keep trying to escape, to set up their own civilization.

Anyway, when the comet hits earth, none of it really matters.

phaedryx's avatar

We’d all become vegetarians.

gailcalled's avatar

There would be fewer animals and more humans.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Cats are already taking over, didn’t you know this? They just need to develop opposable thumbs, and they’ll be unstoppable.

28lorelei's avatar

There are other animals that are as smart as we are, or at least we think so. Whales, for instance, are extremely intelligent, and seem to have brains that are as complex, if not even more complex, than ours. The reason why we are the ones building our cities is largely because:
1. We can cooperate (sort of).
2. We have hands with opposable thumbs that are perfect for making all sorts of things.
Whales lack hands, instead they have fins, with which attempting to do things is much harder. And other monkeys, ex. chimps, while they have opposable thumbs, are often even worse at cooperating than us.

flutherother's avatar

I can’t imagine that ever happening. If it did we would exterminate them.

Unbroken's avatar

I am surprised no one mentioned whales or dolphins. We still have constricted ourselves with emulations of ourselves. We’ve already been down the chimp road. Know ants have an interesting type of intelligence. There are the super animals. Super rats, super bees, etc. It is all very interesting. Of course there would be a communication problem. At least at first but certainly we would be able to devise a method of communication should it be necessary. You know the human race might set aside all wars against each other if we had a strong enough threat…. Eh… shaking nah Even I couldn’t buy that one.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well we all know that white mice are the most inteligent species on earth. Followed by dolphins. Humans are only number 3…

Seek's avatar

Lurve for any reference to the late great Douglas.

mazingerz88's avatar

Our world would have chickens telling “Why did the human male crossed the street?” jokes.

DWW25921's avatar

We will get clever “animal” avatars and train mice to work the keyboard. Yes dear rider, I took you into those branches on purpose. Mua ha ha haaaaa!

Lightlyseared's avatar

@mazingerz88 I thought human females were already telling that joke

Seek's avatar

Why did the human male cross the road? To find the remote control, because it’s too damn hard to walk two steps to the cable box.

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