I was reading Aliens today on the plane and interestingly enough I came across this.
“An irregular hole appeared in the right-hand wall, admitting a feeble shaft of light. Among the emotions that had been programmed into him was curiosity. He paused to peer through the acid-etched crack. It would be nice to be able to take a bearing in person instead of having to rely exclusively on the computer printout of the service-shaft plans. Drooling jaws flashed towards his face to slam against the enclosing steel with a vicious scraping sound. Bishop flattened himself against the far side of the conduit as the echo of the attack rang along the metal. The curve of the wall where the jaws had struck bent slightly inward. Hurriedly he resumed his forward crawl. To his considerable surprise the attack was not repeated, nor could he sense any apparent pursuit. Maybe the creature had simply sensed motion and had struck blindly. When no reaction had been forthcoming from inside the duct, there was no reason for it to strike again. How did it detect potential hosts? Bishop went through the motions of breathing without actually performing respiration. Nor did he smell of warmth or blood. To a marauding alien an android might seem just like another piece of machinery. So long as one didn’t attack or offer resistance, you might be able to walk freely among them. Not that such an excursion appealed to Bishop, since the reactions and motives of the aliens remained unpredictable, but it was a useful bit of information to have acquired. If the hypothesis could be verified, it might offer a means of studying the aliens. Let someone else study the monsters, he thought. Let someone else seek verification. A bolder model than himself was required. He wanted off Acheron as much for his own sake as for that of the humans he was working with.” – Bishop, Aliens 1986 Movie Novelisation
What I love about this excerpt is that curiosity is established as a programmed emotion just as David’s programming in Prometheus.
As well as the Xenomorph not taking any notice of him until his face had appeared in front of it, just like David looking at the monitor in Alien: Covenant.
We only get a glimpse of what the Xenomorph sees in Alien 3 and in Alien: Covenant, and both times were different. Perhaps the Xenomorph may take on characteristic traits from its host as @gothic-fiction-in-space has theorised. Then the Runner in 3 had either Bull/Bovine 🐂 or Dog/Canine 🐶 DNA and that accounts for the variation in image/sight perception in both Alien 3 and Alien: Covenant.
Since the Xenomorph’s in Alien: Covenant were both from Oram and Lopé they could visualise the enemy, just like the ones at Hadley’s Hope.