Alien technology should be the new starting point in our search for aliens themselves. It should be co-ordinated and driven by a broad range of scientists.
Now that the dust has settled on the Pentagon report, amid widespread shrugging of shoulders, the task of finding alien civilisations should be taken up by the scientific community. Of, course, scientists are on the case already but the remit should be broader than just SETI and a few others.
And the starting point should be to identify alien technology.
So far, there have been a lot of theories about alien technology, stretching back to the 1960s, when the idea of star sized computers was first presented by a Professor Freeman Dyson. At the time, no-one gave it much thought. But since the 60s, our own technology has matured to the point where harnessing the power of a star seems only slightly insane, rather than strait jacket insane.
In fact, one part of the search for alien technology is in the hands of one Anders Sandberg, of the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, who now talks of Dyson spheres as a real possibility. He believes that looking for alien technology will be more conclusive than relying on SETI to pick up radio signals, which would be far from conclusive. And Sandberg believes that we should only announce a ‘find’ when the evidence is 99.99% conclusive.
Searching for alien technology is no easy feat. Sandberg says that it will be so different from our own that we may miss it, or it will be so obvious that whatever we find will stand out from what we expect from the Universe. We just don’t know.
The idea of a star sized computer is no longer totally insane. We are just beginning to produce our own ‘alien technology’. We are now seeing how AI based machines can come up with solutions, ideas and directions that humans just do not think up.
So, one day, AI might come up with an idea to build a Dyson Sphere around our own Sun. It might be used as an air conditioner for the Earth, or a way of producing the ever greater amounts of power we need as our technology demands grow.
Meanwhile, Avi Loeb, he who was and is fascinated by ʻOumuamua, now has serious investors for his project to find out what it was and to react quickly enough if another one stops by. He believes that getting a rocket close enough, quickly enough, with a decent camera on board is the way to spot if an asteroid is actually some form of alien technology stopping by to see how we are getting along.
One thing is for sure, whether we follow SETI or Sandberg, more co-ordination is needed in our hunt for alien technology. Collate the stories of sightings from around the world and you find much more than looking at individual threads.
Now that our own technology is at a point where we can see ever further into the Universe and at a point when we can easily send Jezz Bezos to check out a comet, there should be a co-ordinating body that pulls all the evidence together.