If it weren’t for the fact that Musk seems Hell Bent For Mars as an escape from The AGI Apocalypse, Frank Herbert’s “Destination Void” seems tailor-made for Elon Musk to pull a Howard Hughes and make a movie about his passions, just as Hughes made the movie “Hell’s Angels”.
“Destination Void” is about manufacturing variations on a space habitat so as to firewall AI experiments far from Earth. Like a Superheavy launch, these habitats RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) at the slightest hint of reaching the AGI threshold. Only a telemetry log is sent to Earth to guide modifications to the next version of the experiment.
Because the each experiment starts below AGI-threshold, and because the mission must be conducted so far from Earth, it is manned and its crews are clones so as to minimize confounding variables. The clones are deceived into believing they are going to populate a habitable planet in another star system, and then put through a series of planned failures so as to force them to develop a more sophisticated AI.
There is only one among the clones that knows this is a deception:
The Chaplin-Psychiatrist whose job it is to monitor any signs of AGI so as to RUD the experiment, habitat, clones and all – himself included. He is, after all, indoctrinated to understand he is only “property”, hence not entitled to life, but that he is also “immortal” as his cell line will be continued in the next of his series.
There would need to be substantial updating of the 1966 “Destination Void” details for Musk’s version of course, but given:
- the popularity of Denis Villeneuve’s rendition of Frank Herbert’s “Dune”
- the numerous intersections with Musk’s interests
- Musk’s remarkable intersection with aspects of Hughes’s rather unique character
- the decline of the movie studio system into heavy losses due to Woke
- Musk’s contempt for “Woke Mind Viruses”
It seems this is a movie that is begging to be made.
As with “Dune” there is franchise potential here. “Destination Void” is considered the prequel to “The Pandora Sequence” published much later and coauthored with Bill Ransom who, it bears mentioning, worked with Herbert in the same small town as Loompanics Unlimited.