The search for extraterrestrial life finally has good funding.
A new project, called Breakthrough Listen, will have a $100 million dollar budget to search for intelligent life in outer space, courtesy of Russian Yuri Milner. The project will allow scientists to gather more data in one day than other efforts have achieved in an entire year.
Of course, it’s not just Russian millionaires that are backing the project. Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time and one of the most famous physicists ever, is a full supporter and advisor of the project and was at its launch at the Royal Society in London today.
“We are life. We are intelligent. We must know,” Hawking ominously said in a statement.
But this isn’t the first time Hawking has spoken publicly about his thoughts on the future of humanity in the face of extraterrestrial life and superintelligent AI:
Milner also plans to launch Breakthrough Message, in which a globally crowdsourced broadcast for alien life will be created. Milner believes communication with other life forms, a prospect Hawking opposes and regularly warns against, could be an opportunity for humanity to learn important lessons.