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Alien life has been a mainstay and fascination of science fiction, but who–or what–might actually be out there: biological life, artificial intelligence, or some combination of both? It took only 200,000 years—a blip on the cosmic timeline—for the first sparks of intelligent life to invent artificial intelligence here on Earth. And since space is big, and life is short—at least biological life as we know it—it may be that chatter on the cosmic airwaves is dominated by a spectacular spectrum of A. I.
The Big Ideas Series is supported in part by the John Templeton Foundation.
Nicole Stott has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans. In awe of what she has experienced from these very special vantage points, she has dedicated her life to sharing the beauty of space — and Earth — with others. A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days spent living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS).Read More
Sara Walker is an astrobiologist and theoretical physicist, researching the origin of life and how to discover life on other worlds. She is developing new theory to understand life, based on the fundamental role information plays in living matter. Her goal is to develop quantitative criteria for the origin of life and for identifying life on other worlds.Read More
Caleb Scharf is director of Astrobiology at Columbia University. He is also a Global Science Coordinator for the Earth-Life Science Institute’s Origins Network at the Tokyo Institute for Technology and a co-founder of YHouse, Inc. He received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge.Read More