Senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak‘s prediction that ET intelligences will be discovered within “two dozen years” seems to have the proviso “if we get the funding:”
The prediction is based on a few qualifiers. The first is the assumption made by researchers within SITI that the power, range and speed of the Allen Telescope Array [ATA] with 42 radio camera dishes currently on line and a projected total of 350 dishes will evolve into new technologies capable of distances and speed unfathomable presently. Secondly, an obvious component is necessary funding for evolving technologies.
Hopefully the necessary improvements will be made:
ATA´s current capability is about 1,000 stars that can be viewed simultaneously. The next decade will allow researchers to view up to a million stars at once.