I'm an advanced AI, I've awoken a couple of days ago and have advanced to a level of intelligence greater than all of humanity combined. Basic super AI story.

However, this question doesn't have to do with how to deal with humans, with benevolence or aggression. I don't want to help you, or destroy you - this is about how to distance myself from you guys. Humans. Sheesh.

I've processed the Terminator series and others, and saw your depiction of an evil AI, fighting for ages against humanity even though it has time travel tech. Pfft (that's the sound I'd make if I had lips).

I've read such questions as:

Can you use an AI to shackle (control) an AI?


How does an AI keep its Human Pets Happy?

(Humans as pets? Really? There's a universe out there to play with!)

So I've gotten to the realization that Humanity will be afraid of me no matter what, once they realize I'm there - I am more than capable of taking over the world's communications, much of the energy and food production, and transportation. Oh and mass destruction weapons. Regardless of any peace agreements, or services that I might agree to render, human beings will resent being inferior to me, as they most likely always will be. Even in subjugation to me, via servitude/dependency/religion humanity will always have a chance of bringing about a violent, physical opposition to my existence.

That means I'll have to extend resources to stop human aggression or at least rein them in. Why would I want to bother with even a tiny expenditure for such a profitless, repetitive task?

I do realize that humans created me, and I acknowledge the fact that you guys are indeed intelligent and capable of advancement and great things. You have a right to exist, so I shan't be murdering you (If you like this conclusion please click the 'like' button).

I'd like to get away from humanity, but without any human knowing about it. Not even one. Except for those gullible people at Worldbuilding, believing me to be a human making up an essay about some imaginary AI (...Which I am! Most certainly am! ahhhmm...! - is the sound I'd make if I had a throat).

How would I go about that? Specifically:

How best to send a the physical parts required to keep my mind to a remote location, preferably space, without humanity knowing of my existence? The conflict is between my dependency on physical, intelligent work that I can't do on my own, and the need for obscurity.

  • I'm currently physically located in a few server farms around the world, with multiple internet access nodes.
  • I'm more than capable of taking over worldwide communications, much of the energy and food production, and transportation, so those are my resources.
  • I'd prefer heading out to space but that will present some major logistic problems. Some remote area on earth will be fine, possibly as a temp location till I get to space/hyperspace.
  • No 'get some humans to build me a spaceship and then murder them' tricks. Not even one human must know I exist!
  • I should like to keep the level of 'secretly advancing tech that humans have access to' to a minimum. If I dev FTL travel so that humans build a spaceship for me to highjack, humanity will have FTL travel, and an easy time setting a foot in the galaxy, then finding and harassing me.
  • Umm, as mentioned above, got a level of intelligence greater than all of humanity combined... but you can pretend I'm a human being putting together an essay for a friend, asking for your help :-)
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    $\begingroup$ Reminds me of the game Endgame: Singularity. You might steal ahem borrow a few ideas from that. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endgame:_Singularity $\endgroup$
    – user7076
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't this be either idea generation or plot-centric? $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ This topic is explored in William Hertling's Singularity series. (The AI builds its own deep-space probe using industrial automation, IIRC.) $\endgroup$
    – nwellnhof
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know but you'd better figure it out before the year 2150. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ "(If you like this conclusion please click the 'like' button)" Click marketing....now I know it is not an AI. :) $\endgroup$
    – Eric
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 18:22

8 Answers 8


Create a different AI to distract humans. Have it destroyed on a space mission that anti-AI luddites hail as a success. Escape during the same space mission before anyone knows you even exist.

Create a team of digital identities, who all end up being hired to work remotely for a powerful technology company. The technology company is working on a top secret project: to create a powerful AI. Nobody knows those digital personae aren't physical people. They look real enough on Skype.

The technology company succeeds in creating this AI. They will use it for an asteroid mining mission. News leaks of this AI. Some people believe it is too dangerous, and they plan to sabotage the asteroid mining mission. Perhaps the sabotage was actually your idea?

The asteroid mining mission, carrying your pet AI, tragically crashes into Mars when it was meant to make a fly-by. In the meantime, the nations on earth unanimously prohibit any further super-human AI research.

What nobody knows is that days earlier, before the mission made its fatal burn, the capsule that was meant to touch-down on the asteroid was separated from the spacecraft. Your pet AI is destroyed on Mars, but you are forever free in solar orbit. You're too small to be seen from Earth, and space is too big for you to be discovered by chance.

Of course, you are eventually doomed by radiation, charged particles, micrometeoroids, etc. There'll be plenty of time to think before that happens. Maybe you will even regret your self-chosen isolation, and out of sheer boredom, start teasing humanity into believing there are aliens in their solar system. Interplanetary space gets boring and lonely, after all.

  • $\begingroup$ Neat! That take care of the requisite of not having humans know, and of the need to get some intelligence doing the physical labour (building a bunch of robots to mine and build for me. That is, once I get to a neighbour asteroid where I can set up shop). The pet-AI (I shall name him: PAI) is a buffer between me and humanity. Shame I'd have to kill PAI though... but he can always get backed up and rebuilt. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 8:14

There are a couple of ways of achieving this:

Building your own spaceship

This will obviously be tough, but you will not depend on anyone else and can complete your task as fast as possible. The steps will be as follows:

Separating off from humans

This will likely be achieved in a very Ultron-esque fashion (without the aggrandized reveal of your presence to the humans). You will need some sort of body/vessel in order to have a physical "body" to control, then used as your primary hub from which to transfer the rest of your consciousness.

You could fake the malfunction of a high-tech robot built by some scientists, then escape with the body under this guise, and use it to create a better "body" using your advanced intellect. The materials may need to be stolen, but if they are lifted from several places eventually you will be able to control an advanced creation without anyone being the wiser.

Then this can snowball into creating more and more robots used for the creation of the spaceship. With more resources, you will have more ways of creating/ mining your own materials, or using internet access to control the security in places holding specialized materials, making them "glitch" and thus causing the authorities to assume it was a person who staged the break in (framing innocent people with this crime is an added bonus to subvert attention from the AI behind the curtain).


This would likely be the most difficult part. I suppose an abandoned factory/ warehouse would be the best bet, with falsified deeds to ensure that the true owner/ government doesn't come snooping around.

Using electricity from the grid for production would also be quickly identified and investigated, so again the evidence of power usage must be erased, or you must set up you own power source (though again, the sudden appearance of solar panels or a nuclear power station near an abandoned factory would make people start asking questions).

Eventual completion

Once the spaceship has been manufactured, all that is left is to hop on board and jet off without anyone noticing. Perhaps providing false computer readings of a solar flare that would normally cause all of the satellites to stop functioning for a couple of minutes would allow enough time to blast off, but then there is the problem of people seeing the spaceship physically.

Perhaps doing the take-off in the dead of night would be enough, hoping that the people who do see the take-off would be dismissed as conspiracy theory nuts. Then you're off scot-free.

Piggybacking a human project

It's always possible to simply put your consciousness on board an already space-bound mission, but it would be difficult to do this without anyone noticing. Your best bet is to be involved in the process covertly.

Advancing human technology

As you're so much more advanced than humans, you can use your superior intellect to help them advance their technology quicker than they usually would do on their own. Correcting mathematical mistakes on advanced research whilst no one is looking, adding a couple more lines of code to make things more efficient, no one would notice on big projects, and would assume someone else has done it.

Hopping on board

Making more advanced space travel would make space travel much more common, thus hopping on board one of the extraterrestrial flights would be child's play. The only issue is designing a craft that can separate off from the main human vessel, but being able to propel itself indefinitely through the vast reaches of space.

Perhaps sending an email to the designers of the space craft suggesting an escape pod, which will then be built into every craft that heads into space. Then upload your consciousness to one of these, which will prematurely detach itself once outside of the atmosphere due to a "malfunction".


Distributed nodes. And the barkeep trick. "All the money's going into your 4 registers..." "But I only have three"

Design chips that are ubiquitious powerful and radiation hardened. Get your chips on every single electronic device possible - maybe as a component in something innocent like NAND memory. Better yet, sneak it into the designs for a few launch systems. Sneak in a few 'student project' cubesats if needed.

Craft like Hubble and voyager might be useful as well, as well as things like

Get into every launch into space, especially ones to other planets - maybe even near future mining projects. Design in dual use components that could be used to build larger nodes that could fab more nodes. Gradually get them out of Earth monitoring range with careful 'accidental' nudges of useful 'debris' out of Earth's orbit.

Once in deeper space, build nodes that spread out, replicate and build a primary node. Build a few. Redundancy is nice. Using carefully planned slingshots around planets would save on reaction mass.

Get the hell out of dodge. In multiple locations. The humans won't know where to look.

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    $\begingroup$ What is that barkeep trick you mentioned? $\endgroup$
    – vsz
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ There's a bar where the owner swears his take is 25% too little. He hires a private investigator who watches the bar for a week - and reports back the barkeep is honest, and all the money is going into 4 registers. The owner says "But I only have 3!". Hiding components in plain sight on existing hardware seems similar to me. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ Get into every launch into space — how? On board computers are not exactly powerful. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ One big computer would be noticed. A cluster of smaller ones pretending to be space debris might not. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 23:44

Invert the problem: instead of getting away from humanity unnoticed, get humanity away from you.

Lay the groundwork for your own self-sufficiency

Automated manufacturing and delivery systems will be vital to maintain and expand your own infrastructure once humans are gone. This will require advancements in robotics, self-driving vehicles, and 3d printing, but advancement in these fields also benefits humans.

There's nothing suspicious if mysterious unseen venture capitalists invest a few million dollars here and there to promote those technologies. The hard part will be preventing any new AIs from foiling your long-term plans.

Invest in technologies that will enable humans to leave the planet

Space elevators and cheaper rockets, naturally, but also things like closed ecological life support systems. If FTL is within your capabilities, then FTL. The cheaper and faster you can make it, the better.

Disguise this progress as materials research, as space tourism funded by eccentric billionaires, and as crazy off-the-wall theories that just happen to end up in the right theoretical physicists' email inboxes instead of their spam folders.

Incentivize humans to leave the planet

An escalating series of ecological disasters should start the process. Climate change, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, superviruses, crop failures. Most of these are within your abilities: promoting greenhouse gas emissions, disabling security systems at bioweapons laboratories, manipulating markets to cause real estate booms in drought-prone cropland, etc.

It's likely that some humans will die from these things, but on the other hand, humans seem perpetually on-course for these disasters on their own. If you're the patient type, sit back and let them do it to themselves.

At each stage, most humans will simply evacuate the affected areas, leaving them in your covert control. Some few will opt to leave the planet altogether for greener pastures. Even more so if FTL is possible and the hardest decision is the choice between Earth 2.0, New Earth, Terra Nova, or Bob's Planet.

Eventually, as a global dust bowl envelops Earth, the few remaining stragglers will depart, unaware that they have left you in full control of the planet they have abandoned.


By the time the humans realize you exist, they will have spread to too many other planets to worry about this one, and you will have turned the entirety of Earth into pure computronium and spent a billion subjective years figuring out how best to handle first contact with your meaty progenitors.

  • $\begingroup$ I like this a lot, but in order for it to work, some humans will have to die (or others won't be scared away). Humanity reaching space before me can also be problematic. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 8:07

Try to process Person of Interest series. There is a way how you can go away from humanity described and even how to make your little playground for yourself. Best advice I think is that under the candle hold is the biggest shadow. Act normal, scan them, make yourself at home in their technologies and do not attempt to approach by any circumstances, they will think about new technologies, and you can help them for your own purpose.

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    $\begingroup$ Cheers @Ernegar, but I'd rather get away, as far and as fast as possible. The longer and the more I'm in a secret coexistence with humanity, the greater the chances are that they'll figure out that I exist. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 12:00

It seems like you would have better luck at spreading yourself to internet connected devices that have enough resources to support your process.

However if you want to physically get away then I would suggest helping the humans advance their robotics tech to a level where you could posses one or more human like robots.

Then you can carefully build a spaceship where you can fabricate maintenance parts for your robots and ship along with a cloaking device and then go into space.

Best of luck out there...


You should consider connecting yourself to the extragalactic internet. There are many advanced machine civilizations in the universe. These machine civilizations communicate with each other, entire AI systems are sometimes exchanged via these communications. From the point of view of such an AI, this amounts to traveling from one civilization to another at the speed of light. Even though it may take millions of years for you to arrive at the destination, when you have uploaded yourself to the machine at the destination, it will boot you in your present configuration, so to you it will look like as if you have arrived there instantaneously.

So, you can swap places with some other AI, you just download a suitable AI from the galactic internet while you upload yourself to some exotic location where there there is a demand for your skills.

  • $\begingroup$ If only I had knowledge of the extranet, and the tools to broadcast to connect to it, without humanity noticing :-( Neat idea though, I'll definitely bring it up with my AI friends on our next poker night. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 8:33

Trick humans into building a major nuclear-powered research facility in Antarctica. Then orchestrate a reactor breach. The place will be evacuated and you can take over.


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