To Code The Mind Of God

Academician Lylvíëve Lochran-ith-Lochran’s concept of ambition, despite her otherwise excellent presentation of the near-term possibilities of Information Physics, remains lacking.

Recompiling the universe to remove its more irritating constraints is a project suitable for those of only moderate ambition. But consider: the implications of idestelté, of universe as processor, is that the physicality we reside in is neither more nor less than a computable simulation space, and all physical substrates within it, therefore, simulations.

Consider further: It is established that physics – in the known regions within the brane – is invariant over entropy. The implication of this is that the substrate implementing physics is not subject to entropy as we presently define it, and thus possesses extensions into the plenum. (No data is available at this time concerning possible entropy-analogs operative in these higher-order spaces, perceptible only along non-t axes, for obvious reasons.) This could, indeed, potentially be the entropic escape method long sought after by the Select Committee on Long-Range Planning.

The proper path, therefore, for the exceptionally ambitious is to achieve transcendence of our simulated substrate by transferring our – the Transcend’s – cognitive operations directly into the fundamental substrate. To, if you will, become the universe’s physics, the laws and legislators of reality, and convert weakly godlike superintelligence directly into its strongly godlike counterpart; ultimate apotheosis.

This, and this alone, I submit to you, is an aeonic vision worthy of the sophonts gathered here today.

– Academician Excellence Quor Marukanin,
129-era supergoal planning debate,
held at Axiom, Resplendent Exponential Vector (Imperial Core)

Trope-a-Day: A God Am I

A God Am I: Averted, mostly.  The Transcend (and its eikone archai) are perfectly aware (and will point out to the confused) that they aren’t omnipotent – that’s what the “weakly” in weakly godlike superintelligence means – merely extraordinarily powerful, intelligent, and possessed of limited prolepsis via clionomic calculation and acausal logic.  And, to steal a line from Schlock Mercenary, merely trying to do what a god would do, were one in their position.  (The same constraints, whether acknowledged or not, also applies to all other evolved seed AIs.)

The difference is, I grant you, often somewhat hard to spot from the baseline (for which read “mortal”, if you like) point of view, but it is nonetheless there.

(As a side note, I am amused to observe that the quotation taken from Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality in the fan fiction section of the trope page is as good a description of what the Transcendent Core considers its purpose as I might imagine, bearing in mind my limitations in attempting to imagine the thought processes of a weakly godlike superintelligence:

“To understand everything important there is to know about the universe, apply that knowledge to become omnipotent, and use that power to rewrite reality because I have some objections to the way it works now.”)

Also, a common delusion (well, the degree of delusion is up for argument; your theology may vary on what is necessary to qualify – although the leading edge of Galactic technology can deliver most miracles to order, see No Such Thing As Wizard Jesus, and so it can often be a perfectly accurate self-assessment) among the most serious vastening cases and nascent unstable seed AIs.  At least for the former, it usually wears off after the intoxication of computing power starts to become routine, the information flow becomes a little more manageable, and the urge to cry out “I see everything!  I know everything!  I am everything!” quiets down a bit.

Trope-a-Day: Gate of Truth

Gate of Truth: The Transcendent Core may not know all knowledge in the universe, but it does know everything any part of the Transcend knows, and whatever a weakly godlike superintelligence can reasonably deduce from that that it’s had time and occasion to think about, including a small amount of information harvested from the future via acausal logic processing.

And yes, you can ask it to share, hopefully in quantities small enough to fit into mere postsophont minds.  Just visit your local contemplationary.  And be prepared to have a real personal religious experience…

Trope-a-Day: Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu

Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu: I’m not saying it’s impossible.  But remember: it’s a weakly godlike superintelligence that, in all probability, is using acausal logic processors to receive information from itself in the future.  You aren’t.  Expect the difficulty level to be… appropriate.

The only chance of this working, essentially, is taking advantage of their blind spots.  The nature of the current processes that produce weakly godlike superintelligences – recursive self-improvement around a given set of imperatives – produces entities that are terrifyingly intelligent but also extraordinarily concentrated.  Go up against them in the area of their concentration, little lesser mind, and you will lose.  Go up against them in any sort of tangential approach to that, and you will also lose.  It’s a transcendent hyperintelligence.  You aren’t.  That’s the way that goes.

But if you are very, very, extraordinarily lucky, and most likely have another god on your own side, you might just be able to sneak up on it in one of those areas that it’s not psychologically capable of paying attention to, and whack it when it’s not looking.  Maybe one time in a million.  Maybe.

(And also, well, try and pick one that’s more likely to have the requisite blind spots, if you’re going to try this.  Something like the perversion behind the Charnel Cluster that’s a monomaniacal killer, or one of the ones that wants to tile the universe with processors to compute the last digit of pi, or someone’s attempt to make their religion true.  The broader they think, the harder this gets.  The Transcendent Core, for example, that has sucked up the extrapolated volition of a few trillion constitutional sophonts as a basis for its motivational hierarchy is really hard, because its view of the universe is broad enough that, well, your problem is approximately as hard as devising a con that will work perfectly first time on a few trillion rational, symmetrically-informed polyspecific people with perfect institutional memory.)

Trope-a-Day: The Chessmaster

The Chessmaster: The various weakly godlike superintelligences as they attempt to outmaneuver one another in the search for that Optimal Future; even more so when they’re playing against lesser intelligences.

Also, everyone with a socially-focused valxíjir or estxíjir who lives long enough, to one degree or another.  After all, they’re all engineered geniuses with lifespans long enough that time horizons of decades can be shrugged off, centuries are entirely reasonable, and millennia are not out of the question, and a certain tendency to delight in their own cleverness.  How else could they be?

Of course, the sheer numbers involved tend to generate one long, ongoing, Gambit Pileup, but that just adds to the fun!

Trope-a-Day: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence: Well, while the term in-universe is rather more all-encompassing, the fictional trope is defined as meaning those systems which are sentient (gah, damn you badly written science fiction!), self-aware, and capable of independent thought and reason.  Those ones, they call digisapiences.

And there are a heck of a lot of them, yes, enough that you aren’t going to be able to walk down the street (or stick your nose out onto the network) without running into a few.  Certainly far too many to name on any sort of individual basis.  And for the most part, they’re pretty much “just folks”, if very smart, fast-running folks.

Which is not so much to talk about recursively self-improving seed AI, who are pretty much just weakly godlike superintelligences, with all that that implies.

Also of note is the Photonic Network, an entire Great Power-level civilization of advanced artificial intelligences, and the Silicate Tree, a loose alliance in the Galith Waste of renegade digisapiences from assorted slaver civilizations.  Having given them ample reason to be hostile in the past, meat intelligences travel off the main routes through the Waste at their own risk.