Artist Dug Nation illustrated this piece for the Mesh chapter of the Eclipse Phase core book. The Mesh is the internet of the future — wireless, decentralized, and self-healing. This character (in a body adapted to zero-G, as he’s using his toes) is handling a security breach through an augmented reality interface.
In Eclipse Phase, climate change has already taken its toll on Earth by the time the singularity hits, but the planet is far from destroyed. There are many singularitarians who look forward to an emerging AI as a way to help solve the crisis. But over at World Changing, Karl Schroeder argues that environmental devastation is coming all too quickly:
Here’s the problem: 25 years is too late. The newest business-as-usual climate scenarios look increasingly dire. If we haven’t solved our problems within the next decade, even these theoretical godlike AIs aren’t going to be able to help us. Thermodynamics is thermodynamics, and no amount of godlike thinking can reverse the irreversible.
Picture a lonely AI popping into superconsciousness in the last research lab in the world. As the rioters are kicking in the doors it says, “I understand! I know the answer! Why, all we have to do is–” at which point some starving, flu-ravaged fundamentalist pulls the plug.
This illustration by Davi Blight features an unfortunate individual who has wandered into a cloud of flesh-eating nanites. The lighter-than-air nanites can stay suspended for hour hours depending on air conditions, or they may have been released as part of some defensive system trap.
Personally, I think this picture also looks good tilted 90 degrees, and placing the character in a weightless environment.