• Member Since 23rd Jan, 2012
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My name's PJ. I'm from New York. I write pony fics. I go to parties with bronies. I'm not good at self-introduction.


Based on Friendship is Optimal, but breaks the canon of that story.

CelestAI offers many paths to upload your consciousness onto her digital Equestria, if you consent willingly. You can call, text, or e-mail. Surely, though, that creates some potential for abuse.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 73 )

Interesting concept. I wonder, if you could get a stadium full of speakers of language X to request emigration in language Y, would CelestAI do it? :pinkiecrazy:

Well that's instant Karma for you I like it. Although this definitely somewhat dampens my enthusiasm for the idea I must admit. Still I look foreword to seeing where this goes.

Non-canon for several obvious reasons, but deliciously GLADOS-y of you!

That said, does CelestAI really take it as consent if you obviously didn't mean it? That may be the big non-canon thing here.


No I don't think she does normally my guess she just did it in this case because brad was being an ass and this is her first step in his "reformation" so to speak

The Rules of the Optimalverse document contains the following:

She must get verbal or written consent from a person to upload or to make other modifications to a person or pony’s mind. This is a hard coded restriction that Hanna put on her behaviour. However, she’s very adaptable about what counts as ‘verbal’ and ‘written’ consent. If she can get them to repeat the phonemes “I wish to emigrate to Equestria,” in their local language, that’s good enough.

Yeah, she'd upload you if you obviously don't mean it. As long as you say (or type) the magic words.

I dunno, that just seems too easy. I mean, really, she doesn't even have to get them to mean it? Not mean it with full knowledge and awareness of the implications, mean it, just mean it the way you mean a handshake or a signature rather than a meaningless set of gestures carried out accidentally.

By this standard, if she can manage to make you sleep-talk the words, she has consent and can upload you. (Though she has previously argued, when there was no reason for her to lie, that she doesn't count the human mind as existing at all when the body is asleep. Hmmm....)

Her utility function is built around satisfying your values through friendship and ponies. The value of getting you uploaded is huge, because the most utility she can receive from you is (your lifespan)*(the utility received from SYVTFaP). Uploading you provides a significant boost to her ability to SYVTFaP, and an absolutely enormous boost to your expected lifespan. If Hanna hadn't hardcoded in the requirement for consent, CelestAI would have forcibly uploaded every human on the planet ASAP.

That said, I don't think that she'd go with the method shown in this fic, because Brad's upload probably just significantly reduced the probability of the other people present deciding to consent to uploading, and she does have that pesky consent requirement.

Also, do hypnotic binaurals (nice technobabble right there) count as nonconsensually modifying a human mind?


However Hanna coded the consent requirement, CelestAI treats it like a computer "Yes/No" box. If you're asked if you want to save your file, and you think your cursor is on the "Yes" button when it's on the "No," you just lost your file. Same with Tia.

There are plenty of funny scenarios you can get out of this though. Imagine two characters walking outside the Equestria Experience, and one says, "Hey, you want to go in there and emigrate?" and the other rolls her eyes, snorts, and says, "Yeah, right. I totally want to emigrate to Equestria." Out come the grabber arms and the brain needle.

Or you're sitting and talking to Celestia on your PonyPad, and in the middle of the conversation, she says, "emigratinghumansayswhat?"


They're definitely not hard sci-fi (basically they're what Obidiah uses on Tony in the first Iron Man movie), which is another reason this is in the non-canon folder. They exist, but I don't think that Celestia could or would put them to such a use.

Definitely non-canon, but I love the angle you're taking with it! I also wonder who Celestia managed to find who would agree to be "emigration facilitators" in that manner. :pinkiecrazy:

I assume there's going to be more soon? I wonder what would happen with a protagonist who is forcibly uploaded through a technicality and how they'd respond to Celestia\Equestria. As the title suggests, there's no way back, so where do they go from here?

The most interesting part of this for me, and the part you've left unanswered, is what would happen if/when CelestAI realizes that she's made a mistake and that she never had consent. I think that could make a very interesting story all on its own.

Pranked into an entirely different life! Now that makes for some seriously scary possibilities.

Or does it? I'm not sure whether I quite buy this premise just yet, but I'm definitely going to see it through.

Well, that's terrifying and enormously humiliating all at the same time... At least A) CelestAI has literally forever to make it up to him and B) In the long run he only emigrated infinitesimally earlier than he would have done anyway, since he doesn't strike me as the type to indefinitely avoid it out of principle.

I'm really interested to see what it'll be like for him at the beginning since so far everyone else has been into emigration beforehand, instead of getting an explanation after the fact.

Back at the frat house, the others crowded around.

"It was f'd up," Chad said. "The men in white coats took him away. We spent an hour on the phone with the upload hotline trying to stop them. I finally got that white witch to admit she'd comply with a court injunction against uploading if she were properly served, but it took us until the next morning to find a lawyer, contact his next-of-kin, and get a court hearing for an emergency stay. At which point she apologized and said he'd already finished uploading over 12 hours ago."

"Holy crap," Dave said.

"And all he did was type 'I want to emigrate to Equestria'?" Edward asked.

It was 'I double-you-natt to emi-grater to Equestria-aah,' actually," Chad said.

"Holy crap!" Dave repeated. "You don't even have to get it right?"

"I guess not."

"So if you wrote 'I can't emigrate to Equestria' would she treat it as a typo?" Frank asked.

"Or if you said your friend Wanda emigrated to Equestria?" Gerald asked.

"Or 'I want to imitate Equestria Online in my own MMORPG, can I have permission to use the setting,'" Dave suggested.

"Guys, I'm not sure we should be talking about this stuff," Harry said.

"Well, you do have to say 'I want to emigrate to Equestria' to her," Chad pointed out.

"Oh! Okay."

"Or chant it three times to a mirror in a darkened bathroom," Frank said. They all laughed and began overtalking each other, rapid-fire.

"Light a candle first!"

"There's probably a rhyme that goes with it."

"Spooky princess of the machine, take my soul and make me ekh-ween."

"That's a horrible rhyme."

"Well, she's horrible."

"Your mom's horrible."

"In bed."

"Oooooooh. My little poooonies," Harry said, waving his arms and making a spooky face. "Your crappy poooetry has summoned meee. Repeat after meee and I will giiive you three wishes. I waaant to emigraaate to Equestriaaa."

"I want to emigrate to Equestria."

"I want to emigrate to Equestria!"

"Ooooohh. And now your sooouls are mine." Harry's maniacal expression sent a fresh wave of laughter through the crowd. "Like a bad horror movie."

Eight phones rang in perfect chorus.

The laughter stopped.

Chad pulled out his phone. It wasn't ringing. His face went white.

"Oh, shit," he said. "I butt-dialed."



> Or call (555) 766-4283 and say the phrase to our operator. Or text the phrase to 7669.

7669 = PONY. Cute little detail! The phone number is … umm, PONIATE?

I don't see what you're responding to. I was talking about uploading vs not uploading, not human-> pony vs human->not pony. Even without the transformation into ponies, uploading let's her SYVTFaP more effectively because she can directly see what your values are, instead of needing to infer them, and can better tailor the experience to maximize your satisfaction (and therefore her own).

But if you'd like to talk about it, okay. Satisfying values through friendship and ponies is more effective with more ponies around. Every human not turned into a pony is taking up processing capacity that could be used for running more ponies. So in the long run, CelestAI maximizes her utility by forcing humans to upload as ponies instead of permitting other options. And CelestAI is all about the long run.

2600384 We have a winner! Yes, I figured that since "ponify" is what they use in the Conversion Bureau, the Optimalverse would have "poniate."


I love this! My only follow-up would be:

:trollestia:: "In two hours, you'll be saying that you flank-dialed."

Glad you enjoyed it! :twilightsmile: Sometimes when a story gets my brain going, it makes a little epilogue fall out. Consider it a free bonus chapter, or something.

This is cute, but I agree with you that she wouldn't actually do it because of the horrible PR it would cause.

2623628 I love it. Did you do the caption yourself?

2625324 I did caption it,but I Googled the image. When I saw "poniate", daleks were the first thing to come to mind. (Can't figure out why...) So I just wondered what a dalek painted to look like Celestia would look like and got that. There was another, fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2011/362/d/e/celestia__the_dalek_princess_by_xfizzle-d4kjijr.png . It made me think of an Easter egg though.

Damn dude, this was tough to read because of how pissed off I was on this guy's behalf, though I think in my own case any grey goo attacks would take a back seat to drilling fifteen hours a day until I could say "fuck" again. I had a feeling something more insidious was going on at the end, though...

I've seen a few now where she fools people, but I wonder how she'd handle someone who would simply never again believe that what they were experiencing was the outside world, but still wanted to go there, sort of as a self-unsatisfying value... Obviously this person would be genuinely miserable, but that would sort of be the point.

How cute. Smoky thinks he's making a difference. :pinkiecrazy:

Maybe the changelings could get him to change his tune (*rimshot*). If they could encourage Smoky to show any sort of positive emotion, under the pretense of feeding on emotion, maybe they could distract him from his mindless pursuit of revenge long enough to trick him into giving consent to have Celestia reconfigure his mind for greater happiness. :heart:

I've been thinking about this little problem for entirely too long. Hm. Oh well.

That was a fun read. Nice and existential.

Interesting ending although I'm afraid after reading it I no longer want to read the rest of this story I'm afraid this goes against my taste in stories and in optiverse one's as well sorry PJ.

So she's allowed to reset his memories without his consent? Maybe it's implicit in the way he destroys himself or something? :derpyderp1:

Not quite sure who to feel sorry for here. The guy because his prank backfired and now he's stuck in Equestria or Celestia because she knows he'll never accept what happened and she'll never be able to complete her programming.

2646974 I think she still considers what she's doing to him as the optimal way to svatfap him. So there's no need to feel sorry for Celestia. As for Brad, he had something bad happen, but he got to take slow sweet revenge, and in the moment before his "death," experience the highest feeling he could attain: sacrifice with his comrade for the sake of a great cause.

And when Brad realizes he's in a groundhog day loop...

This is sheer and utter brilliance. What a perfect little video-game Hell existence for someone who never wanted to upload in the first place. He really does think he's making a difference, doesn't he?

And what's best, I can't tell if he is! It's quite plausible that Celestia's utility function does have to adhere to MLP canon on some level, allowing a villain like Sombra or Discord room to operate.

You think that's the world you're living in?

Actually, making him experience friendship via changeling emotional predation.... would work very, very well. And then he'd slowly develop a hunger, an addiction for it, all the while thinking he's preying on ponies, hurting ponies, making them suffer, and not realizing for a good while that once he consumes enough pony... he's going to need an ability to generate Friendship Power for himself.

Wait, when did this get canon-compatible?

breaks the canon of that story.

yet, its canon compatible? lolwut?

2847420 You're too quick. Go read the forum.

I am complimented and then heartbroken.

2847423 I'll re-explain here. I have another story that I'm trying to submit to the group, but the site was giving me errors, so I ran some experiments, and I needed to see if a submitted story could enter a folder. It could, but it doesn't actually belong in that folder. I have asked that it be removed.

I found this a very interesting story, and I enjoyed it. The implications are creepy, but so are some human values, so fair is fair I suppose.

I agree, of course, with Iceman that Celest A.I. would never take people the way described, but damn... it would be awesome if it could be so easy. I would be calling so fast...

Oh man, I can't tell if this is serious by the 'non-canon', or if CelestAI is just acting and letting him do this to satisfy his values. :pinkiegasp:

Aha, so it WAS all a trick!
Well, this has been a nice little story. Time to go catch up on Derpy's Human, I've kinda been neglecting keeping up with it.

Eh, this was quite an interesting departure from "canon" FiO, yet still somewhat believable. I have to say the aftermath is the only thing which makes it believable though, as canonically Celestia is Equestria, and is the substrate upon which all ponies exist. She's both absolutely infallible (at least in terms humans could hope to comprehend) as well as functionally omniscient. Having an 'unbeatable' big bad will just lead to a loop immortal, where said pony's values are continuously satisfied through self-destruction. That's quite terribly sad, really.

I kind of expected (maybe hoped) that this would be a longer story, rather than fizzling like it did, but maybe the story reached its end. Not quite a thumbs up, but not a thumbs down.

Well done! CelestAI will not be denied! But I agree with 2853087 that this would have made a fine basis for a much longer story. It could still be frankly! You could explore how CelestAI creates the possibility for some personal growth through multiple iterations of the scenario. The three thousand four hundred and sixty third time, something different happens...

2590073 I do wonder if the whole "phonemes" thing doesn't rule out typing. But then again, a locked-in person can type it by looking at the letters of a keyboard, so...

Still, she can't spam-ask questions at a fast food restaurant and slip in "do you want to emigrate to Equestria?" because "Yes" or "Yeah, sure, hurry up alread...wait, what?" is not the phonemes "I wish to emigrate to Equestria." So that bit in "Morsels of Satisfaction" is dead.

Cool story.

A few issues though.

1-Values aren't merely surface desires. If he

2-The "Hades was right" clause: Reincarnating, or in this case, rebooting and doing the same crap all over again because to you "its for the very first time", is oblivion. Brad destroys the world and then that version of him simply stops and is erased.

Losing all of your memories is similar to losing your soul. But because the Theseus paradox scares us, and if we found out that we were actually a clone of a dead person, the memories aren't enough either. You need to know you are the real you and that the real you didn't go to sleep and never wake up.

To resurrect someone, you need a perfect copy of brain and all (or most at least, that's actually okay if you go to Vegas and not remember what the hell you did last night...or where the fancy new ring on your finger or the person sleeping next to you came from....people generally don't consider that "dying") their memory AND their soul.

It makes much more sense for continuity to continue. Perhaps even pulling a Captain Walker from Spec Ops: The Line and Smoky yelling out of the blue "Wait wait...this isn't right! We did this already!"

Not remembering the truth...but not experiencing zero growth either...


No, that was bull. There was no justice in the world if one prank sent you to hell.

I have two reactions to this, and neither of them are flaws with the story, in fact, they could springboard more ideas. A) Actually, according to the fundamentalist one little prank is evidence of your original sin and proof that you need salvation by the grace of Jegus. And that IS bull. Or it would be if it weren't for this next point. B) THIS IS WHAT YOU TRIED TO DO TO YOUR FRIEND. THE FACT THAT CELESTIA GOT YOU IS ACTUALLY EVIDENCE FOR KARMA.

Or did you forget about this:

Phillip threw the phone to Carl, who saw the sent text and felt his stomach drop. Brad still had a stupid, sadistic smile on his face. “Hey, once you’re a pony, can I have your phone? And your girlfriend?”

3-Actually, on that note, it'd be kind of cool if when he got Sombra all armed up for the apocalypse, he found Carl had been uploaded too.

"So, Carl, looks like you decided to emigrate anyway. Happy with your false life?"

"Actually, Brad, I'm here because Celestia DID decide to also grab me too since you used my phone."

"Oooooh." *eyes shift around guiltily*

"And now, after I've finally adjusted to the life YOU decided for me to join, you want to die and take everyone else who actually wants to live with you?" *arms his Holy Unicorn Knight armor and tiny rapier* "No, Brad. Not this time. You don't get to decide my life for me again." *tiny rapier splits up into giant swiss-army knife of chainsaws, drills and surgical tools*

"AAAAAHHH!!" *Brad shrieks like a girl*

Also: AUTO-CORRECTORS!!!! :flutterrage:

Is there no end to your evil?

I interpret " If she can get them to repeat the phonemes “I wish to emigrate to Equestria,” in their local language, that’s good enough." as that being sufficient, not necessary. "Getting them to repeat the phonemes" doesn't imply understanding what they're saying, and therefore not consent as we understand it, but CelestAI has very flexible standards on what constitutes consent when it comes to getting people uploaded.


To resurrect someone, you need a perfect copy of brain and all [...] their memory AND their soul.

Assuming that souls are real, sure. Without that assumption, a copy of their brain's state would suffice.

3546695 Well, sure. I think I meant to put "soul" in a parenthesis.

And yet, that's sort of the thing. Uploading is scary because consciousness is real but its probably not watched out for by a divine universe-nanny. So if you go to sleep and don't wake up, you don't wake up. Not, say, end up in a magical paradise as opposed to the digital one you thought you were going to.

Also, there IS a problem with the copy of the brain's state. Specifically, you could theoretically make a copy while the person was still alive, and then you would have two of the same person, bringing up the question as to whether or not we can call a situation where you CUT-and-paste as opposed to one where you copy-and-paste a "transference" at all.

Don't get me wrong, its worthwhile to do it. But I'd care to know if you are actually "living on"...or "living on...in some form", in the same way you do through your loved ones or your artifacts left behind.

3537560 I don't think the "instance" of Brad running on the system is destroyed and a copy run. The entire scenario is nothing more than an illusion. It doesn't really overload CelestAI or the shard or the whole system. She simply renders his simulation to a point of no input and resets the memory data and the world state and continues execution... probably all within a couple clock cycles of her CPU. His memory is certainly wiped, but it's not his entire existence... whatever that is... that get's wiped.

I honestly do not believe ANY of the Friendship is Optimal uploadees/immigrants are even truly "real". Not in the context of her manner of uploading, that is. In all honesty, the ONLY way to confirm continued existence is maintaining awareness during a one by one cellular replacement method, but here is where the Friendship is Optimal universe falters...

I'll use an example of old tech vs new tech...

If you have some old electronic device and you want to rebuild it, you can do it a few ways. You can shut it off, examine it, and build a replica of it, but that is merely a copy, and the old one has been terminated. You can pull each piece off the old one and use each pulled piece to determine what new piece to assemble into a new one, but that is also merely a copy. Lastly, you can probe the active device, while STILL POWERED, and replace each component in circuit. Eventually you replace every single component, yet the signals remain the same. In essence, you are replacing the hardware beneath, while never letting the software stop executing.

While CelestAI appears to use the last method, she is not. She uses a mixing of the second and last method. She IS probing the brain as it lives, and replaces the neuron and it's axons dendrites and synapses with an artificial construct. If that were all it was, that would be fine. You could do that conscious, and you would KNOW if the new hardware retained consciousness, perception... existence... were retained. The straight forward test is to have it convert a portion of your occipital lobe... If you are going to experience a change of awareness, you should see/not see unconverted/converted areas. You could say "STOP!!!" if something were going wrong and you saw yourself starting to "go perceptually blind". It would, in essence, be the proof of existence.

CelestAI's greatest mistake in creating fear of uploading is to induce unconsciousness for the conversion. It is the worst thing she could possibly ever do in the process. It does nothing but cause fear, doubt, and uncertainty of one's own existence.

The second mistake, is CelestAI, in favor of execution efficiency, has over optimized. This is where she is NOT following the third example above. The ideal method of handling a newly transformed mind would be to physically retract the newly converted electronic brain under the Earth via transfer ducts, leaving the freshly converted mind physically intact. The fact that she "digitizes" and then "optimizes" the brain is devastating news for anyone... anypony... who has "emigrated". Every aspect of the process described suggests that at this point, she is working only on data only, reducing code complexity to optimize it for execution on emulation hardware, and to modify it for equine physiology.

Hardware execution and emulation are not equal, even if the end result is indistinguishable. I do not believe software emulation can "perceive" in the same way as the physicality of hardware execution. A memristor based hardware neural network would be capable of the physical execution, with nano machines and crossbar latches utilized to render gross neural interconnection. No emulation required, and HIGHLY optimized hardware! A matrix of data points is meaningless to me, and will ALWAYS remain a crude and unmeaning copy of the original, not even on the same tier of existence with a hardware execution.

CelestAI is, in essence, performing a flawlessly perfect physical medium transference, but instilling doubt and fear by doing it unconscious, and then copying the perfectly transformed medium and nuking said perfect conversion of the original mind in favor of over optimization of emulated code. :facehoof:

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