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Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner want your help to find extraterrestrial life

MATTHEW DUNN

THIS week space fanatics were teeming with excitement after it was announced Stephen Hawking had teamed up with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner in a quest to find extraterrestrial life.

Now, the alien hunting duo is asking you to download a smartphone app that will help prove the truth is out there.

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing app acts as a crowdsourcing platform which gives scientists the ability to tap into the spare processing power of personal devices around the world.

A handy function for when you are trying to gather and analyse huge amounts of data provided from two of the world’s most advanced telescopes scanning the universe for signs of alien life.

As this project will record thousands of hours of data — opposed to the usual 36 hours captured annually — president of CompTIA Todd Thibodeaux said the researchers needed all the extra help they could get.

“In searches such as this, the more eyes you can get on the prize the better,” he told Forbes.

“Harnessing the personal interests of possibly hundreds of thousands of people makes sense and couldn’t be accomplished cost effectively any other way.”

Those worried about chewing through personal data can rest easy knowing the app only works when connected to Wi-Fi.

It also only works when a device is plugged in or fully charged, meaning it won’t chew up your battery life.

However, iPhone users will have to hold off on playing Fox Mulder as the BIONC app is only available on Android devices.