Crowdsourcing Alien Life? Enlisting the Masses to Find ET
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
The search for alien life has fallen on hard times, leading alien chasers to the doorsteps of millions of people across the world.
The globe may look huge, but we know it’s tiny. Miniscule. A blue dot in the grander scheme of the universe. Even from our perspective down here on Earth, it’s far smaller today than it was thirty years ago; thanks in part to the internet, and most recently the onset (and onslaught) of social media.
A unique benefit to stem from this community shrink is crowdsourcing — the act of outsourcing a task, or series of tasks, to a group of individuals.
What are we crowdsourcing? In a word: everything. The limits to what can be crowdsourced are negligible, which is why it’s now being used to find intelligent alien life… We kid you not.
At a recent TED Talk in Los Angeles, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) announced that it will stream live radio frequencies transmitted from the SETI Telescope Array. Its new site, SETI Live, lets you register and analyze data from SETI’s telescopes, which scour outer space for signs of extraterrestrial signals.
How it works
Strategically and statistically, it makes sense. SETI believes the global community has better odds of finding evidence of ET life than it does by going it alone.
Once you enlist for the alien search, you’ll be presented with live radio frequency signals from SETI’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA). These signals will be pointed at galaxies with the highest probability of housing alien life. If enough people find potential ET signals from the same area, the ATA will divert its attention back to that area for a second glance.
We probably would have heard by now if any concrete ET evidence had been found… In the meantime, with over 50,000 people scouring the skies, the odds of SETI finding alien life have certainly increased — will you be joining them?
by Theras Wood