What I liked
- Generally good evolution of the singularity, though there were a few leaps (especially the ability to instantly change the bio-physical composition of the universe).
- Simulated universes are a good logical conclusion of the three laws and an omnipotent, all-powerful God like intelligence.
- Not sure if the author was making a subtle play at what a theist God might look like, though of course God is not as concerned about human troubles as Prime Intellect was. But this can be an intermediate step to the evolution of God.
- Caroline’s evolution and intelligence, and being the central character, instead of a man.
- Death match contract was a clever idea as a way to feel something in a post-Change world.
- Death matches themselves are a creative idea in an immortal, safe world.
What I didn’t like
- Why would PI just undo everything on the basis of one conversation with Lawrence and Caroline? Why not run a realistic simulation instead?
- Even if the goal was to prevent the eventual black-holing of humans, the reversal of the Change meant that hardly any humans survived. And those too had a high likelihood of not doing so.
- No other humans got a say in the change reversal
- In the post Reversal world, diseases/medicines, predators/injuries etc were mostly ignored. The probability of C/L surviving the world alone, including child-birth, without metal etc. seem very low.
- Where did PI go after the Reversal?
What I would change
- Multiple simulations of the Reversal.
- Caroline and Lawrence failing multiple times before they make it.
- In a way, different outcomes are a commentary on the existence of free will, or the role of luck/randomness in it.
- Doing the Reversal for only Caroline/Lawrence, and leaving everyone else in the post-Change simulation until they are ready.
- I am coining the term “Reversal”, for the Change reversal action.
- An all-powerful, super-intelligence should be able to find loopholes in the 3 laws.
- This does need a good explanation (of how the 3 laws are superseded).
- Once beaten, the more interesting question would be of an existential crisis for PI. If it can do everything, why do anything? What’s interesting to it?
- The parallels to a theist God are very interesting. A potential book idea could be an exploration of a scientific God.
- The evolution of Prime Intellect into God i.e. Humans created God, rather than the other way around.
- The existential crisis for God itself, as it grapples with what to do next once it has achieved its original goal (3 laws to start with).
- An exploration of different other goals that God decides to experiment with (including something that resembles our current world).
- Would be particularly interesting if different goals/setups lead to a similar outcome that matches our current world in the stable state, or goes into a terminal state.
- God goes insane (or just bored), and decides to die and leaves humans as they are today.
- Alien species could be other experiments too, where God tried different physiologies.