London: Aliens could be operating through
sentient robots and the hunt for extraterrestrial life should
take this possibility into account, a leading astronomer has
Seth Shostak, of the Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California, said humans had a
greater chance of picking up signals from alien-operated
robots than from the biological lifeforms that had created
The quest to find alien life so far has generally
followed standard rules of biochemistry, working on the
assumption that detectable extraterrestrial beings would be
But Dr Shostak said astronomers may be overlooking the
existence of "sentient machines" from outerspace, the
The astronomer 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 said.
"But within a few hundred years of inventing radio -- at
least if we`re any example -- you invent thinking machines.
Founded in 1984, the SETI institute has the mission to
explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and
prevalence of life in the universe.