"Alien Electromagnetic Signals Will Be Discovered by 2040" —SETI’s Chief Astronomer
"Astronomers will have scanned enough star systems by 2040 that we’ll have discovered alien-produced electromagnetic signals," said Seth Shostak of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, Calif. during a talk at the 2014 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) symposium at Stanford University.
SETI has until now sought radio signals from worlds like Earth. In the current search for advanced extraterrestrial life SETI experts say the odds favor detecting alien AI rather than biological life because the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence would be brief. “If we build a machine with the intellectual capability of one human, then within 5 years, its successor is more intelligent than all humanity combined,” says Seth Shostak, SETI chief astronomer. “Once any society invents the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are at most only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm of sentience to artificial intelligence,” he says.