Colin Lewis plays with the idea of William Blake’s The [First] Book of Urizen as a prophetic anticipation of X-risk level artificial intelligence. It’s a conceit that works gloriously. A somewhat extended illustration:
1. LO, a Shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! unknown, unprolific,
Self-clos’d, all-repelling. What Demon
Hath form’d this abominable Void,
This soul-shudd’ring Vacuum? Some said
It is Urizen. But unknown, abstracted,
Brooding, secret, the dark Power hid.
2. Times on times he divided, and measur’d
Space by space in his ninefold darkness,
Unseen, unknown; changes appear’d
Like desolate mountains, rifted furious
By the black winds of perturbation.
3. For he strove in battles dire,
In unseen conflictions with Shapes,
Bred from his forsaken wilderness,
Of beast, bird, fish, serpent, and element,
Combustion, blast, vapour, and cloud.
4. Dark, revolving in silent activity,
Unseen in tormenting passions,
An Activity unknown and horrible,
A self-contemplating Shadow,
In enormous labours occupièd.