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My story involves a sapient swarm intelligence, which I've detailed in a previous question here. I'd like to ask an additional question that is related but different from my original post:

Is it possible for intelligences of this species to coexist with humans, or aliens possessing a 1:1 mind:body ratio like humans do? For example, could an intelligence share a city with humans? A living space? Would they need to occupy specialized spaces separate from humans, like some adaptation of a bee box?

A quick note for clarity: at the moment I'm considering individual insects of this species to not be much more intelligent than the smartest of Earth insects. It's only together that they form greater intelligence.

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    $\begingroup$ In my somewhat limited human experience, humans seem to have trouble coexisting with humans. Even without bringing in the alien minds angle, would humans peacefully coexist unless they were so completely outclassed that to do otherwise promised immediate and horrific extinction? We have an entire genre of fiction where, if the extinction would be non-immediate, we bravely fight on and outsmart the villainous LGMs. They could be philosopher-saints, and we'd probably just take that as a sign of weakness. We're all crazy little murder monkeys. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Sep 13, 2021 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ Did read all those hive mind questions, and I think it is a mistake to ask them all at once, for the reason that you didn't decided how your swarm intelligence works. All your questions are because of that. A right way would be to define what you want (interaction, reaction time etc) and then try to figure out how this swarm work to be able to accomplish what you want. Or define swarm, how they interact, what individuals of that swarm are and then see what it can. Or inbetween - define some here and there, see what it can. / $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Sep 13, 2021 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ / as an example, individuals of the swarm can be of any intelligence level - human level, apes, dogs, mouses, insect, frogs, cats. They gather together in some warm medetative place to make meditation where swarm emerges and writes a plan for today for all of them. In good conditions this medetative place is permanent, and members move in and out like for work, spending 4-8h as processors, and then back to food seeking or else. And then it possible to see more detailed how they interact with the world. You have to do something like that to be able to adress questions you currently have. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Sep 13, 2021 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg I've set a few details and am asking for help to think through the consequences of those details. As I believe I specified in my main question, these swarm intelligences are comprised of insects not much smarter than the smartest Earth insect. I specifically used the term "swarm intelligence" to because that word has a specific meaning rather than the more vaguely defined fictional term "hivemind". $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2021 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg As I understand it, members of a swarm intelligence are essentially at constant work, and don't spend time functioning as processors independently from other functions. I had thought that this would be communicated by my choice of terms, but perhaps I'll edit my main question to make these points clear. $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2021 at 20:22

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It will have to do with resources: those desired by the hive and those desired by humans.

If the hive intelligence wants resources that humans want, then we will come into conflict. That is why humans come into conflict with humans. We want the same things. That is why humans come into conflict with wolves. We both want to eat sheep and the wolves might eat us. Humans kill the wolves. If wolves had a hive intelligence they might do better at avoiding getting killed. For a while.

Humans and bees coexist and humans help bees. Bee goals and human goals are in alignment. Bees want pollen and nectar, and their actions cause fruits and nuts to grow. Humans want those fruits and nuts and so we try to encourage the bees. If the bees had a hive intelligence as you describe, humans would enable it because bees help us.

We do not come into conflict with earwigs nor do we encourage them. Earwigs do not want the stuff we want, and vice versa. Our worlds do not meaningfully overlap. We are on parallel tracks. If earwigs had a hive intelligence that was pursuing earwig goals, humans probably would not notice. If the reality of the hive intelligence were brought to the attention of humans there might be some that would find it fascinating but in a scientific sort of way.

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    $\begingroup$ I like the concept of ‘earwig goals’. Goals which do not overlap with ours and may even be incomprehensible without dedicated study. It’s a nice moniker. Oh, and +1 for the actual answer too! $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Sep 15, 2021 at 15:04
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It depends greatly on finer details of the swarm and the coexisting species.

I think other users have put very good points on the psychology aspect of the problem so I'll focus on the material aspect.

Physiology

If the swarm requires a complex network of pipes, fibers or other conduits to keep its member in a cohesive collective and stay sapient, it is quite unlikely that said network will be hospitable to foreign species. Similarly, audio/visual communication used by the swarm may simply be intolerable to others. Imagine a billion insects whining and blinking in a large building where every surface is covered by layers upon layers of droning insects.

Infrastructure

Architectures designed for a species is unlikely accessible to another of great physiological differences. Doors may be too small, mass transport may be inefficient (a 2m high bus with only two decks is horrifyingly inefficient for a species of 20cm tall insectoids), insects that can walk on walls are unlikely to build footpaths that are safe for humanoids, pheromone-marked signs cannot be understood by other species etc. And how about utilities? Species that are efficient at recycling water do not need sewage systems as large as humans' ones to remove liquid waste, while lighting for nocturnal species most likely will not satisfy the need of diurnal ones.

Assuming that the two species are willing to and capable of cooperation, there are still too many factors that may prevent full blending. Of course, these are entirely dependent on your description of the species, and without further details we can only speculate.

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