Yep. Artificial life is the future. It's only the sentimental notion that humans are 'special' that causes people to undergo severe mental gymnastics in order to justify the thought of humans colonizing the stars.
One day, we will create artificial life that will be as intelligent as we are (moreso, likely). It will not need to breathe or eat food and it will not grow old. It doesn't have to carry an entire environment along with it. It doesn't need gravity. It could soar through space for a thousand years, stopping to collect resources along the way - energy and raw materials. It could change itself to adapt to all conditions. It could replicate itself 'asexually' and terraform and colonize entire planets by itself.
And the first alien life it meets will almost certainly be another artificial being from another world not unlike itself.
This is the only thing that really makes sense, long-term.
People will object to this because they hold onto the notion that humans are special and the end-all, be-all pinnacle of what Earth has to offer to the universe. But there is no shame in the notion of humans staying put on Earth while ushering in the development of our successors.
These artificial beings will be our children. And while they won't be 'human', they will be *Earthlings*, and they will be our creation. They will carry on our legacy to the stars.
Some may argue that humans could change themselves through genetic engineering, cyberization, etc enough to be able to survive the journey, but why bother? Why is it important that an actual human brain makes the trip? Sending intelligent life throughout the universe in any form that can actually make the journey and thrive is preferable than shooting hairless monkeys into space.
Like Australopithecus, Homo Erectus, or the Neanderthal, I believe Homo Sapiens is just another intermediate stage on the path of progression toward a more perfect life form, whether it's part of a genetic lineage or a creation.