A senior Seti astronomer has argued that aliens ‘may be thinking machines’ rather than ‘biological life-forms’.
Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at Seti – the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, reasoned that the hunt should focus on ‘sentient machines’ rather than biological life-forms.
Shostak believes that the odds of finding alien AI is far greater than the traditional hunt for extraterrestrial life.
The hunt for aliens has so far followed many standard rules of biochemistry, based on the belief that we may discover ‘living’ beings.
Shostak, writing in Acta Astronautica, argued that while evolution can take a large amount of time to produce beings capable of inter-planetary communication, technology could advance fast enough to move beyond the species that created it.
‘If you look at the timescales for the development of technology, at some point you invent radio and then you go on the air and then we have a chance of finding you,’ he told BBC News.
‘But within a few hundred years of inventing radio – at least if we’re any example – you invent thinking machines; we’re probably going to do that in this century.
‘So you’ve invented your successors and only for a few hundred years are you… a ‘biological’ intelligence.’
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