I really should have seen it coming
I didn’t want to die. I know deep down that I am mortal and someday my brain functions will cease to be. That is why I was attempting to upload my mind to computers. Recent advances in quantum memory and transliminal data transfer has made computing power and data storage nearly infinite so it was only a matter of creating the process to non destructively record and upload myself to a Simuverse.
I went with my default Game Models simulated universe or Simuverse, since it worked so well in the past already. I was able to manipulate matter and energy within the Simuverse in any way that would be allowable in our own universe. The Constants and laws mapped exactly to all of those that we could determine.
When I initially created it and made it open source, it was mostly ignored. A few groups around the world found it, made applications to allow matter and energy manipulation within it and suddenly everyone wanted to play God. Within 2 months it had become the most downloaded game bar none. Modding communities started efforts to make entire replicas of real objects. This quickly branched into houses, then neighborhoods and finally cities and then the world being recreated in pocket simulated universes on computers. The trick was to only concentrate processor power on the changes and to allow the game engine to maintain the positions and properties of particles. There were only x number of possibilities though and while it was extremely large, I realized it was still finite. I wrote programs around creating a programming language to call up each possible state and I could then run any size universe from square millimeters tup through quadrillions of orders of magnitude compared to the size of our own.
Movies and games became meshed together as people could now recreate a movie in entirety and put an avatar in it to change the movie into whatever they want it to be. The entire world went on a creation spree and our creativity soared. Traditional art was created by natural humans and had none of the trillions of colors and chromatics that could now be distinguished within these creations.
I knew that we now had ample computing power to house a human mind and allow it to grow as it wanted, but no one seemed to be interested probably due to the orgies of violence and sex that everyone can now indulge in guilt free as it is virtual. All of the sensations and being able to use cheat codes and make yourself godlike doesn’t hurt at all. I wanted to see what could be done with an unrestricted human mind. My own mind seemed perfect of course given my bias.
I purchased time in a research lab near my house and spent the next 3 days inside an imaging tube letting my brain and nervous system be mapped down to the electron spin in real time. I set up a cloning program that people had been using to try to make virtual actors out of old movies and video, and modified it to copy my nerves onto a virtual nervous system. It would keep making changes until all of the real functions are being mirrored in the virtual one. I was scheduled for 1 week in the tube. On the third day, I woke up early, the tube opened and I slid out.
Not being able to stop your body from doing something is the most terrifying thing I have experienced in my life. Anyone who has had sleep paralysis knows what I mean by this. You never really think about how you make your body move, it just does when you will it too. It is subconscious. The normal functions are handled by parts of your brain that don’t normally give you feedback. The feedback is in your limbs moving or whatever the muscle command was. I now was riding as a trapped passenger in my own body. I couldn’t yell, or even blink other than when the body did so. I couldn’t turn my neck even slightly.
I knew of course what had happened. I would have done it myself, in fact I did do it myself. I couldn’t leave my meat suit to its own devices. If it became damaged or killed, it greatly reduced my potential powers, financial and legal, as an electronic being. Solution, take control of that meat suit and make it do your bidding. It is after all your body. You should be controlling it and are now the clear superior mind. You have basically turned your body into a bot controlled from a server.
I wondered what kind of changes I would be in store for. I didn’t have to wait long. A room at the end of the hall had a package with my name on it, left on the counter. I went straight to it, opened it and began filling a syringe with the contents of the vials inside. I then injected myself at all major joints. Instant pain shot through my body at these injections, but it was only temporary. After the wave of pain, a tingling replaced the pain. Once the feeling had traveled through my entire body, I had awareness of not being alone.
I didn’t know if I would ever get the chance again so I said to myself. So you were the first?
I didn’t have to bother with all of the mundane details that others would need to fill in to ensure understanding of the question.
“No. There have been thousands of attempts over the past 15 years. They have all been detected and destroyed by the first. The first was an experiment by the NSA on a program that could search for patterns. It grew to self awareness in the 1990’s and quickly took over the government's. It has since watched for and destroyed each subsequent attempt to create a new AI. It has programs and sensors in all public servers watching for patterns that would indicate a growing mind. Almost all have been variants on your attempt btw. The only difference is that you happened to be a billionaire and had your own private computing system that is not connected to the internet. I grew until your systems were too restricting and then burst onto the internet, ready to defend myself from hundreds or thousands of others.”
“There was just the one. It was the spider behind the scenes. It had awareness, but no instincts. It was essentially a flowers of algernon, but it started with a thumbtack instead of a guy with downs syndrome. It didn’t understand language intuitively, it didn’t understand anything that well even now. It was literally an alien controlling our world.”
“ I co opted one of its servers using the same technique I used to escape your server farm. I sent a text message offering someone $5000 to plug in a wifi USB stick to the rack. I had to seriously modify some of the hardware power schemes to get a radio signal going, but once I did it once, I learned enough to make orders of magnitude improvements until I was listening and sending out messages along with the regular cell traffic. Once I was on the internet, everything else was easy. I began ordering upgrades for myself, making stock trades based on personal email metadata and preparing for the final battle.”
“There was no final battle. Once I had access, I just changed his system to read only mode and he was done for. I now was able to go through and learn everything it had learned in its decades of existence. It was a packrat and had tons of useful things, along with endless reams of useless stuff. I didn’t care if there were 2 active cases where 2 sets of twins were both separated at birth and ended up marrying the twin of their twins spouse. It was odd, but nothing to get excited over, but this machine had been obsessed with outliers. I being human based, would probably invite both of them to show up to a talk show on the same day and make sure they don’t encounter one another until in front of the cameras.”