A Good Future (rough draft)

It is the year 2500.

Humanity has overcome its challenges. AI alignment has been solved and a benevolent god watches over us, allowing us to create and share what we desire. But it no longer interferes too much; at least, not too much in this realm.

There are a lot of augmented humans. They have essentially uploaded their minds via nanotechnology. Every night for 5 years, tiny nanomachines would replace their neurons with synthetic ones until they were fully synthetic. With these synthetic neurons in place, they could think up to 10,000x faster and could add different dimensions to their consciousness, like the ability to see infrared or to have an intuitive understanding of quantum mechanics or to controls hundreds of different bodies at once.

I am one of those augmented humans. My consciousness is digital, composed of photonic signals instead of neurotransmitters. Right now, I am independent and not connected to the sea of computing infrastructure that surrounds me. I’m human, except that I can vary the speed of how fast I think. Right now, actually, I am thinking just 1.5 times faster than a biological human. I could be thinking more than a thousand times faster (light is so much faster than sound, and our biological nervous system transmits at the speed of sound) but I like the way the world moves at this speed.

I am not on Earth. I am about 100 light-years away from Earth in a gigantic solar system that belongs to me. Within this space, I control every atom. Well, not all of them. Those atoms that belong to others are still protected by god. I cannot inflict pain on others without their permission and even then, there are strict limits on the magnitude of suffering that is allowed to exist.

But functionally, since I don’t want to cause anyone pain, I can do everything I want to do.

Nanomachines and swarms of self-replicating probes are currently disassembling the planets in orbit of this star. We’re building a Dyson swarm /​ Matrioshka brain. Basically, a swarm of orbiting computers, powered by the sun. Within this massive computing infrastructure, I have built a universe.

I’ve been building this universe for ~490 years. I originally intended to be a writer, then a VR developer, then an AI reseacher. Now… I am a worldbuilder in the most literal sense. So are millions of others, and I hope someday I’ll experience some of their simulations as well. But for now, this is the one I want.

I sit back into my cozy chair, close my eyes, and enter the universe I’ve built.

The wind ripples across my skin. To build anticipation, I haven’t used a simulation at all for the last few months. I’ve been catching up on fantasy stories, drinking hot chocolate, and letting time go by at fifty times normal speed as the spaceship nears this solar system under construction.

It is marvelous how realistic this feels.

My old memories fade. This world is best experienced by a new consciousness. But my identity remains, and my memories are still stored on a server somewhere, ready to be re-downloaded as soon as I hop out of simulation.

This simulation is a world with purpose. As a biological human, I dreamed of being a hero. I wanted to use magic, to fly through the air, and to protect those I loved.

That desire burns within me now. I snap my fingers and a spark flies into the air. My hair ripples in the wind and I set out through the desert with a sword across my back.

There are others here, real humans. In fact, every human I meet is real and has rights. My actions have consequences.

As the last of my memories fade, I think of the world I’m leaving behind (but only temporarily).

Humanity is spreading across the stars. If I ever grow bored of this world I’ve made, then there are a quadrillion other worlds I can explore that are just as detailed. The universe has become an absurdly diverse place.

Some worlds still use biology, using the real physical world for their ideas. There are comparatively few of these, maybe 1 in a million, but the landmass they take up is equal to a thousand solar systems of mass, or about 1 trillion earth worlds. 1 trillion physical worlds, filled with different ecosystems, totally alien environments, and all sorts of terrifying and mysterious creatures.

A lot of worlds are copies of Old Earth, either through simulation or physicality. Many of these worlds even have biological humans with no augmentations at all. One of my friends chose to stay biological and now lives on one of those planets, reliving his college experience and making the best of it. I think that’s a little unoriginal, but I guess I’m not one to speak.

Because on the other end of the spectrum, there are giant simulations where minds experience games in hundreds of different spatial dimensions and examine the universe in a detail I cannot even begin to comprehend. There are also worlds where your pleasure settings are pushed all the way up and minds float in eternity experiencing incredible rapture as they examine the world around them.

I’m not particularly interested in those. I like where I’m at. I want to have a diversity of experience, have an impact on others, and continue to develop my identity as a person in a natural-seeming way. I want to try to be a hero and experience everything that comes with it.

This is the world we want. A world of security, fairness, and love. A world of choice, diversity, and infinite potential.

It is the end goal enabled by every technology and especially the research of AI Alignment.

(This is my intuition of what a good world with AGI might look like, inspired by the ideas of Isaac Arthur. It sat in my drafts for a long time before I decided ‘screw it, someone might find this helpful and I’d like to see what they make of it and how their ideal world differs from mine’. I’ll reply to every comment!)