Artificial intelligence continues to advance at a rapid pace, and some experts predict that we could have some form of a conscious computer in less than a century. In the last Sententia discussion, we considered the biological definition of life. This expands on that idea, and brings in definitions of "consciousness" and "sentience."
The search for extra-terrestrial life tends to focus on the requirements for life on Earth: carbon, oxygen, liquid water, and so forth. There are arguments that support the idea that any life would have similar needs. Yet there are also arguments that life could be so alien that we might not even recognize it as life. Indeed, the biological definition of life can be interpreted to include things like stars, which are generally not considered "alive."
Though my writing is almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy, I do like to read in a wide variety of genres and fields. In this case, I was gifted a copy of this book by my best friend, who seemed a little surprised that I'd never heard of it before, since it's apparently somewhat famous. Of course, since I live under a space rock, there are all sorts of things that are apparently common knowledge of which I'm totally oblivious. Did you know that spending your free time writing hundred-thousand word novels isn't normal?