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What science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke would have sent to the aliens

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Arthur C. Clarke (mamyjomarash)
Arthur C. Clarke (mamyjomarash)

Back in 1995, Tod Mesirow had the opportunity to interview 2001: A Space Odyssey author Arthur C. Clarke, and the transcript has recently been posted in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Clarke's insights into science fiction in the interview are as human and accessible as his writing, "Science fiction does not attempt to predict. It extrapolates. It just says what if? — not what will be?" Clarke mocked those that think AI isn't coming, quipping "I think that the people that say we will never develop computer intelligence — they merely prove that some biological systems don't have much intelligence."

Clarke, who died in 2008, also reminisced about his collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on 2001 — surprisingly drawing a connection between its famous slab and the UN building. He also offered a few suggestions for how humanity should respond to the first message we receive from extra terrestrial intelligent life. Though just asking for "help" is the most "obvious" response, Clarke thought music and photos made more sense. The whole interview is well worth the read.