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I wasn't sure if you wanted a bar under questions or if it is a seperate chapter so I went ahead and threw one in. I hope you don't mind. --Jumach 18:23, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Spoiler warning! Plot and ending details Follow!

tentative plot proposal

I propose that this be a science fiction novel. The basic idea could be that nanorobotic artificial life is trying to establish itself on Earth.

1. The first task of this extraterrestrial life form upon reaching Earth is to integrate itself with (download AI code into) terrestrial computer systems and the world wide web (call these rudimentary AIs "Level 1 DETI" (downloaded extraterrestrial intelligences)).

2. Next, nanorobotic artificial life forms will invade the brains of some computer programmers in order to tweak the terrestrial computer systems to make them better hosts for the downloaded AI code.

3. The optimized alien AI code will then set about assisting a group of humans to develop revolutionary new computing devices, pushing available integrated circuit fabrication processes to the limit.

4. Once these alien-inspired computer components become available on Earth, more sophisticated versions of the alien nanorobotic intelligences will be downloaded into the new hardware (Level 2 DETI).

5. At this point, the Level 2 DETI, still working through the internet, will establish a collaboration with a group of molecular biologists for the purpose of making altered versions of terrestrial life forms. The goal of the Level 2 DETI is to turn terrestrial biological organisms and cells into molecular factories for the production of molecular-scale nanodevices that are chemically compatible with terrestrial life. If they can accomplish this task, it will be possible for these new molecular-scale nanodevices to form functional hybrids with human biological material that can serve as optimized hosts for the nanorobotic artificial life forms that has made the interstellar journey to Earth. It will be possible for the nanorobotic artificial life forms to take human form and interact with the human population of Earth.

The novel would involve the gradual discovery of what is going on (the "alien invasion") by some humans. I suggest that humans become paranoid and suspect that the aliens want to take over Earth, but in the end, the aliens would not be a threat to Earth (happy ending). --JWSchmidt 01:07, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Additional discussion

  • Sounds good. Eric119 16:27, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • This looks like it could be really good and its something I'd really like to be a part of, but I think we need some documentation of what's happening so that people can change things without contradicting other people's plot points. For example, I assume the 'eggplant' was the alien, which unplugged the cable to inject the DETI into the system, and then left through the same hole it came in, which would explain the floor tiles being bent up, but I don't know if someone else has another idea of whats going on there. More importantly, what's going on with Brian? Are there plans for where this is going or is it just something weird thats going to be filled in later? --Braiba 11:38, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • One issue that could be explored in this story is the idea that it might be possible for an intelligent life form to be much smaller than a human. If extraterrestrials wanted to make their spacecraft as small as possible, they might design tiny life forms that could be transported in small spacecraft. I was thinking that the 'eggplant' might be an alien space craft. A fully functional nanorobotic artificial life form might only be a millimeter long, at most, and they would be capable of "shape shifting", particularly when they invade someone's brain. I still have a problem with the "hole" or series of holes up through the floors to the roof. The best I could come up with was that maybe the alien ship had to make a hasty exit. "what's going on with Brian?" - an alien nanorobotic artificial life form has invaded his brain (step #2, above)! The alien is making use of Brian's computer experience to fully integrate alien artificial intelligence code into the terrestrial internet. In step #3, the artificial intelligence makes contact with human computer scientists and gives them suggestions for how to invent advanced computing circuits (email?). There could be some funny scenes here with the alien AI trying to learn how to write proper English. Maybe Brian and other humans could pitch in to help edit the alien emails. --JWSchmidt 23:09, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that if the aliens can take over humans by invading their brain and can use the internet, theres no real reason for them to communicate with the humans at all until at least stage 5. Also, while I like the idea of the humans helping to proof read the emails (although I imagine they'd probably try using spell/grammar check first, which could also be funny), that does suggest that the humans and the aliens become 'friends' reasonably early in the story. I was under the impression that the aliens turning out to be 'good' was going to be the ending., and if its not, then what will be? --Braiba 11:29, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • JWSchmidt, you matched my thinking with what is going on with Brian. The encounter with Brian was an accident (requiring, as you say, a "hasty exit") and DETI 2 was accidentally inserted into Brian's brain, ahead of schedule. Since the aliens do not yet want to be known, they are trying to prevent knowledge of the incident from spreading. Controlling him through the infiltration, they are trying to suppress his memory (not with complete success) and to convince him to keep the matter secret. (Brian saying, "Too early" was meant as a hint of what has happened.) Eventually, the ETs will try to go public, at which point Brian will no longer have memory problems. Eric119 21:21, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Just a random thought: Since Brian obviously isn't aware of what happens while he's being controlled, maybe the human characters could get clues as to what the aliens are doing from the browser history. For example, logically the DETI would require knowledge of TCP/IP to be able to make use of its connection, so they might be researching that. --Braiba 21:53, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

More ideas from JWSchmidt

John's view of the nanobot-human brain interaction. Picture a 1 mm long nanobot landing on a human host. The nanobot disassembles into a network of threads, with each thread about 100 nanometers in diameter. The threads insert themselves into the human’s body, slipping effortlessly between cells and repairing any damage caused to the tissues of the human’s body. Upon entering the brain, the nanobot would face a serious challenge in trying to control the person’s behavior. There would have to be a period of trial and error while the nanobot learned how (by altering the activity of neurons) to make the person do anything constructive towards accomplishing the goals of the aliens.

In particular, I doubt if it would be technically possible for the nanobot to read the memories of a human host. Memories are stored in a distributed network of synaptic connections that can probably only be read by means of the normal functioning of the brain those memories are inside of. Given the practical limitations of the nanobots, I think they would have to work very hard to establish a working relationship with at least one human host. I do think that they would learn a lot about human brains from the first human host; additional hosts would then be easier to take control of since the nanobots would have by then learned the basic working of human brains from their first “puppet”.

Similarly, inserting some alien artificial intelligence code into a terrestrial computer would not be a trivial matter. There are many conventions used in terrestrial programming that would have to be learned by the aliens. It makes sense to me that there would have to be a period of time during which a human host such as Brian worked under the influence of a nanobot to integrate some functioning alien artificial intelligence computer code into the internet. We tend to take for granted our ability to use human language to communicate. There is a huge number of arbitrary special case rules in English, particularly for how to communicate with people in a formal way (such as an email communication to a stranger about a highly technical subject like designing a radically new computer circuit). I think the nanorobots would need to make use of several human hosts as sources of information about the subtleties of human language, human conventions for communication and the current state of computer circuit design.

I’m not sure if this will work, but I was thinking along these lines: the aliens could take control of a group of computer nerds (first Brian then Joe and a few others) and make them think that they are working on a new company project with some collaborators from another branch office of their company (think along the lines of Dilbet’s Elbonia, only more realistic). In reality, the human members of this project team would be doing the bidding of the aliens. The aliens would make use of the humans in the project group by pretending to be “Elbonians” who are doing their part of the company project and sending email communications to the group members like Brian. The poor communication skills of the aliens would “make sense” to Brian and Joe because they would assume they are dealing with people who do not speak English as a first language (also, they would have nanobots in their brains working to prevent them from figuring out the truth of what is going on).

“I was under the impression that the aliens turning out to be 'good' was going to be the ending” – I think it is best to keep the reader guessing about the aliens for as long as possible. The existence of the aliens will be revealed by way of the experiences of Erin, Brian and Joe. They will at first fear the aliens, but in the end they will learn that there is nothing to fear. --JWSchmidt 21:58, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Strange story

I must say this is one of the strangest stories I've ever read, and I have absolutly no clue as to how to continue this story. It would probebly help if we could set up some guidlines for the plot, so that we know what each of us is thinking about how the plot is suppose to turn out. I mean, what does an eggplant have to do with a computer firm? (copied from the talk page)

Basically, the "eggplant" is an alien vehicle The aliens are doing the best they can to make contact with humans. This will involve several steps (outlined above, tentative plot proposal) starting with trying to run a minimal artificial intelligence program on terrestrial computers. --JWSchmidt 21:20, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
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