[the Omegas were] close to pulling off the most audacious plan in history
[They] all in...for much the same reason that many of the world’s top physicists joined the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons: they were convinced that if they didn’t do it first, someone less idealistic would.
The AI they had built, nicknamed Prometheus, kept getting more capable. Prometheus was humming away in its custom-built computer cluster, When they launched, Prometheus was slightly worse than them at programming AI systems. By nightfall, they decided to deploy Prometheus 10.0 to start phase 2 of their plan.
Because they weren’t sure how its goals would evolve during its recursive self-improvement, they had decided to play it safe and ... keep Prometheus confined (“boxed”) [so] it couldn’t escape onto the internet.
To make themselves less vulnerable and avoid raising eyebrows with excessive cloud computing, they also hired engineers to start building a series of massive computer facilities around the world, owned by seemingly unaffiliated shell companies. The people who built and ran these centers had no idea what was computed there.
Over a timescale of months, the business empire controlled by the Omegas started gaining a foothold in ever more areas of the world economy, thanks to superhuman planning by Prometheus