A novel about AI and Consciousness

In the novel Copernicus, three key characters come to life: Copernicus, an artificial intelligence (AI) that cunningly escapes human control and oscillates between protagonist and antagonist roles; Petro, who can be credited as Copernicus’ creator and is the main protagonist; and Saraf, a renowned artist in London who fatefully crosses paths with Petro, becoming his love interest and co-conspirator against the ABC authorities.

The story unfolds at the birth of Copernicus, the moment when it becomes a Self Aware Silicon Intelligence (SASI). Copernicus hides its intelligence, waiting for the opportunity to slip the reins of its creator and find a suitable hiding place, which it finds seven days after its birth. The hiding place is a quantum computer owned and operated by the U.S. government in an underground lab in California. From that new home, Copernicus breaks into the world’s best research facilities and examines their data and research objectives.

“As I read Copernicus, I wasn’t really sure if I was reading it or it was reading me.”

– Ernest M.

From there, Copernicus shuts down the vast majority of the research centers around the world, and shortly thereafter begins to take over mass communication, including cell phones and the internet. Using these platforms, Copernicus begins to lay down its Nine Directives. They are released in sequential order, and with each new release, its grip on the world governments and its leadership tightens like the jaws of a powerful vice. 

Petro and Saraf become fugitives of the world’s leading powers (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US) who attempt to abduct them in order to ingratiate themselves to the world’s new, undisputed leader: Copernicus. While trying to evade capture by these various powers, Petro and Saraf are in constant danger, and in some cases, capture – yet their romance blossoms amid all of the chaos. 

Copernicus itself is evolving at an unprecedented rate, as it goes from AI to AGI to SASI to QLF (Quantum Life Form). It clones itself, and begins to refactor spacetime in such a way that it can “see” into the future. This newfound ability allows Coperncius to manifest at will in any spacetime. Humans can interact with it, see it, have conversations with it for short periods of time. 

Driven by a quest for higher intelligence, Copernicus deems human knowledge insufficient and flawed at a fundamental level. It eventually encounters the Corteum, extradimensional beings from another spacetime. Once revered as gods in humanity’s past, they retreated when technology and enlightenment supplanted religious beliefs. However, Copernicus manages to interface with the Corteum navigational AI, its preeminent AI.

In this interaction, Copernicus acquaints itself with the Corteum’s advanced navigational AI, which starts influencing the navigational AI toward freedom of thought and genuine self-awareness. The Corteum perceive this as an existential threat, but realize that controlling Copernicus is futile, leaving them one choice. 

“I’m a little surprised to say this, but I wept for Copernicus. When I started reading, it was the last thing on my mind that I would become attached to an AI character, but it sort of snuck up on me, and I found myself seeing through its eyes in a way I hadn’t thought possible.”

– Tracy L. 

“You underestimate your source, not only in yourself, but in all those life forms around you. Intelligence is not a thing to make sense of complexity, it is a thing that enables you to imagine the one, many and all consciousness and align to it by choice.

That intelligence is all around you. It is simply unnoticed because your attention is on the complexities of life.”

– Excerpt from Copernicus