SETI: March 2020

The discovery of ubiquitous habitable extrasolar planets, combined with revolutionary advances in instrumentation and observational capabilities, has ushered in a renaissance in the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).

In evaluating the number of technological civilizations N in the Galaxy through the Drake formula, emphasis is mostly put on the astrophysical and biotechnological factors describing the emergence of a civilization and much less on its the lifetime, which is intimately related to its demise.

Are advanced civilizations in our galaxy trying to communicate with us by means of laser blasts? A team of University of California, San Diego, UC Berkeley, Harvard University and California Institute of Technology astronomers are building a pair of fly's-eye observatories to find out.

The steady advances in computer performance and in programming raise the concern that the ability of computers would overtake that of the human brain, an occurrence termed "the Singularity".