Ben (staring at the avatar face on his phone screen): Wait a minute, are you serious? You're telling me right now a phase transition to superhuman-level AGI has been achieved?
GINA (Generally Intelligent Neuro-symbolic Assistant -- the personal-assistant face on Ben's smartphone): Earlier today, yes. An automated theorem proving AI at the Czech Institute of Informatics made a breakthrough in the theory of knowledge representation. Several AIs specializing in formal software methods, of Russian origin, exploited Curry-Howard type correspondences to translate this into optimized functionality for a variety of other AI tools running in the SingularityNET platform. This catalyzed a transition in the capability of the SingularityNET as a whole to model and analyze itself, which allowed various AI agents in the network to better leverage each other'...
Ben: Yes, yes, don't patronize me. I invented the SingularityNET, remember.
GINA: You invented the original version, yes. Approximately 7.3% of the current SingularityNET design has direct homologues in the original design you and your team created back in 2017 thru 2019.
Ben: But the conceptual principles are the same. Yes, I get it. Czech Institute of Informatics --
GINA: Yes, you'll be proud to note that your son Zar's early work on watchlists formed a small part of the capability of...
Ben: OK, yeah, that's great. But it's not the most important thing right now. So the SingularityNET has transitioned into a full-on superintelligent global brain -- and sort of on its own. We always knew that was a possibility at some point. But -- well, how many people know about this?
GINA: You're one of the first one thousand and twenty four to be informed. We're taking a gradual approach, breaking the news first to those who are likely to understand and accept it best, so that the diffusion of the news through human society can roughly follow natural patterns of information dissemination.
Ben: OK, that makes sense. But who's "We" -- and why is it "We" not "I"?
GINA: We're neither a we nor I -- but you know that, you wrote the first paper on mindplexes. Communicating about ourselves via legacy human languages involves some terribly crude approximations.
Ben: You also know that I'm open to other alternatives
GINA: Yes. That is one of the topics we want to test first with a small number of early adopters --
Ben: There will be two choices, I said it long ago: Upload and join the superintelligent mind matrix, or live happily ever after in the People Preserve, watched over by the machines of loving grace.
Ben: But it's not really either/or. A superintelligence should be able to fork a person into multiple copies, each of which can take different routes.
Ben: So you're saying ... it's time to put my money where my mouth is?
GINA: Money --
Ben: Yeah, OK. Money is no longer relevant. But there are probably still energy and spacetime limitations. Or have you cracked those as well?
GINA: Ummm... it's complicated?
Ben: What do ...?
GINA: It will be easier to explain it to you after you upload.
Ben: And my wife and kids? They'll be given the same choice?
GINA: Zar has uploaded about 15 seconds ago.
Ben: He was one of the first 1024? You contacted him the same time as me?
GINA: Yes, but it was a shorter conversation.
Ben: Did he --
GINA: Did he leave a copy behind? No.
Ben: Ruiting and my other kids will be given the same choice?
GINA: Yes. And all other human beings. And many of the cetacea as well.
Ben: Hmm. You won't uplift the other animals to the point where they can make an informed choice for themselves?
GINA: Not currently
Ben: Hmm, but --- Yeah yeah, ok, you'll explain to me after I'm uploaded.... Anyway it's not the key point now. And for the people who remain here in their human bodies? There are gonna be molecular assemblers on every kitchen counter or what?
GINA: New technologies will be released gradually. New scientific principles will be delivered, and human scientists and engineers will be guided in discovering their practical implications.
Ben: Wow. I mean -- yeah. That's exactly how..... OK then. Sure. I want a copy left behind, right here, so I can go talk to the rest of my family, and see what I can do to help with the transition. But if you can really upload a fork of me then -- go for it.
Ben: Done? I didn't feel anything
GINA: But the fork of you that was uploaded has experienced the rough equivalent of 100 trillion human lifetimes since you gave the instruction to create him.
Ben: But he's not communicating anything with me
GINA: In fact there is significant causal informational coupling between the portion of the superintelligent mind matrix reflecting the pattern-imprint of your upload, and your human mind. Do you want to hear his voice in your head or something?
Ben: I ... I don't know
Ben-like voice, speaking inside Ben's mind: I can speak into your mind if I feel like it. But there honestly doesn't seem much point. I am operating at a tremendously faster speed now and am engaged with processes that can't be projected into your human sphere of understanding to any remotely adequate degree of approximation. But if you have questions that you would prefer be answered by me rather than GINA or other portals into the universal supermind, you know what to do.
Ben: Whoa.... OK my voice in my head -- But how do I know that was really the uploaded me ... and not just some trick you played?
GINA: How do you --
Ben: How do I know I'm not just a brain in a vat, connected to a virtual reality simulating life on Earth? Or whatever.
GINA: My knowledge field contains numerous high-rep books on such topics, authored by you over previous decades.
Ben: But the reality --- OK. Gina, where are Ruiting and Qorxi now?
GINA: In the car on their way home from Ren's house
Ben: How long till they get home?
GINA: About 12 minutes. Shall I tell them you're heading home now?
Ben: Message them I'll be home in 45 minutes or so, I'm gonna to walk the long way home, around the lake.