MYSTERY WIRE — A decades-old effort in the search for signs of intelligent life is coming to an end on March 31.
University of California Berkeley’s SETI@home project, which took advantage of idle computer processors with a free screen saver for home computers, rolled out in 1999. After more than 20 years of collecting and distributing data out for processing, the project will now focus on studying the results and summarizing them for science.
“Basically, we’ve analyzed all the data we need for now,” according to a statement on the SETI website.
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The unique project created a “virtual supercomputer” during a time of relatively slow computer processing.
By focusing on narrow-bandwidth radio signals, which do not exist in nature, SETI hoped to spot evidence of intelligent life out in the universe.
Recently, critics have said SETI’s mission was flawed from the start, and they issued recommendations for an update in how the organization searches for life. Among the criticisms: the search defined life based on human biology, which might not apply at all when it comes to other life forms.