ET - just phoning it in?
The recent Pentagon report into UFO’s came with basically the same findings as project Bluebook in the 1970’s (the USAF investigation – not the TV series) – there are a small percentage of sightings that are just unexplainable, so aliens can’t be ruled out.
(SETI) astronomer Seth Shostak thinks that there is a good chance that there aliens out there (based on the sheer numbers of stars and planets) but, as we don’t believe that things can travel faster than light, it is far more likely that they will send AI to visit us than fragile biological bodies.
After all, that is how we do it – Voyagers 1 and 2 are perfect examples, not to mention we have made Mars a planet populated by our robots.
But what about Sci Fi? Let’s ignore that everyone sends probes and look at the AI bit. In the classic "Ender's Game" series by Orson Scott Card, our hero Ender Wiggin is accompanied by an AI called Jane, who is connected by “ansible” – which allows instant communication over any distance (think quantum entanglement). Ender goes everywhere at near light speed, and Jane can (and does) do the research on where he is going, so she can quietly feed it into his brain when the time is right.
That is how one author solved the problem in the 1980’s (by the way - don't watch the 2013 Enders Game movie - there are much better things to do with your life - like scraping dog poo off your shoe).
But why have the aliens never show up. Did they become AI, or were they killed by their AI, but perhaps they never existed. What’s most likely right? Indeed, where are they?
Opportunities for some great sci-fi.