I am currently reading The Fall of Hyperion. In Chapter 33, an AI named Ummon is introduced. He tells Johnny and Brawnie at lengths about the Ultimate Intelligence. Can someone please explain to me what he meant? Just that part. This is the start of the passage

[A less-enlightened personage once asked Ummon//
The Tree of Pain will call him\\
The Shrike will call him\\
The true UI will destroy him\\
Thus you have Ummon's story]

Basically the whole part.

2 Answers 2


Much of this is based on the philosophy of Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, which posits that (very loosely speaking) humanity as a whole can evolve towards becoming one with God (in essence, humanity is God in the making).

In the books, the TechnoCore is working on a parallel project, creating an Ultimate Intelligence (UI) which can use all available knowledge to predict the future. In essence, they want to create a god-like intelligence analogous to what humanity will evolve into.

Far, far in the future, both goals are achieved. The UI and what the Core refers to as "the human UI" are at war, with the the stakes being the future fate of humanity. The human UI, however, produces a stalemate by refusing to fight, and flees backwards in time instead.

Back in the present, the TechnoCore learns from their UI (who can also communicate back in time--don't ask how) that the human UI is in their time, but his location and identity are unknown.

In order to find the human UI, though, they build a "trap":

The Tree of Pain will call him\\
The Shrike will call him\\

to lure the human UI (who, among other things, is the personification of empathy) out of hiding in an attempt to help those trapped on the Tree of Pain. Once the human UI has revealed himself,

The true UI will destroy him\\

that is, the UI will be able to resume the fight and (as the TechnoCore believes) defeat the human UI.


As you have read before, the computers have a project to reach the Ultimate Intelligence; I think that it must be an equivalent of what human beings take as God. Computers tried to simulate famous dead people (from what have been remained of their thoughts), for example John Keats. This was an attempt to understand souls and spirit of the people, to recreate it and to be able to create men finally; To be short, they wanted to be God, to be the Ultimate Intelligence.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.