Exo-biologists say one reason human attempts to contact alien life have not produced results is that we are looking for biological life, not "robotic life."
In The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (2010) Paul Davies, chair of the SETI: Post-Detection Science and Technology Taskgroup of the International Academy of Astronautics, posits that extraterrestrial intelligence might not be interested in the physical world at all and would instead take on the form of a quantum computer.
"I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe," Davies writes in The Eerie Silence. "If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in nature."
Seth Shostak, director of NASA’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program says:
“As soon as a civilization invents radio, they’re within fifty years of computers, then, probably, only another fifty to a hundred years from inventing AI. At that point, soft, squishy brains become an outdated model.”
Schneider calls this "The Short Window Observation":
Once a society creates the technology that could put them in touch with the cosmos, they are only a few hundred years away from changing their own paradigm from biology to AI.
Schneider describes current medical neural implant projects, and the eventual general use of neural implant technology:
Devices such as the Google Glass promise to bring the Internet into more direct contact with our bodies, and it is probably a matter of less than fifty years before sophisticated internet connections are wired directly into our brains. Indeed, implants for Parkinson’s are already in use, and in the United States the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has started to develop neural implants that interface directly with the nervous system, regulating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, arthritis, depression, and Crohn’s disease. DARPA’s program, called “ElectRx”, aims to replace certain medications with “closed-loop” neural implants, implants that continually assess the state of one’s health, and provide the necessary nerve stimulation to keep one’s biological systems functioning properly.
Eventually, implants will be developed to enhance normal brain functioning, rather than for medical purposes.
The implication is that mankind is poised for an evolutionary step moving human consciousness from a biological basis to machine AI.