Search for alien life has been ‘wrong’ the entire time, says astronomer

The search for alien life forms has taken a strange turn this week, as experts are now claiming we've been looking for the wrong signs all along.

American astronomer Seth Shostak, who works for the SETI institute which searches, in real time, for alien life, said that we should stop looking for planets capable of housing human life.

He said: “If aliens are intelligent enough to seek out Earth, they will probably have gone beyond biological smarts and, indeed, beyond biology itself.

“If extraterrestrials come to Earth, the ensuing scenario would be quite different than picking up an alien radio signal or detecting a flashing laser in the sky, modes of discovery being pursued by my colleagues and myself.

“The aliens producing such signals will be light years away, and their appearance and intentions wouldn’t be of much concern.

“But those of anyone landing their spacecraft on our turf would be.”

He goes on to say that, the biggest issue to humans searching out alien life is that scientists on earth are looking at it through a “human-centered” point of view, which assumes that planets are capable of hosting human life – which could be very different to alien life.

Yesterday, head of AI at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr Steve Chien, who helps steer some of NASA's major artificial intelligence programmes both on Earth and on Mars.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Star's Ciaran Daly, Dr Chien explained that AI – often known as 'machine learning' – has become completely integral to NASA missions.

This is because AI enables NASA scientists to analyse huge amounts of data quickly and understand 'unusual events' in space.

He said: “NASA generates vast amounts of data, and we use machine learning to try and pull out subtle signatures and look for unusual events in these large datasets.

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