A senior astronomer has said that the hunt for alien life should take into account alien “sentient machines”.
Seti, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth.
But Seti astronomer Seth Shostak argues that the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence (AI) would be short.
Writing in Acta Astronautica, he says that the odds favour detecting such alien AI rather than “biological” life.
Many involved in Seti have long argued that nature may have solved the problem of life using different designs or chemicals, suggesting extraterrestrials would not only not look like us, but that they would not at a biological level even work like us.
However, Seti searchers have mostly still worked under the assumption – as a starting point for a search of the entire cosmos – that ETs would be “alive” in the sense that we know.
Read more: BBC News