If a large portion of every planet’s silicon in the Universe was converted into memory chips and thinking chips and other at present unknowable kinds of functioning thinking devices, what would the Universe think about? This isn’t a totally idle speculation because we present humans might participate in getting the whole Universe up and running in a way that the natural-selection style of evolution cannot do. We are a sentient species at this time, and we do have the ability to contemplate these kinds of ideas even though the Universe is enormous compared to us.
We have the ability to plan for future events and to bring them into physical reality, whereas the natural-selection type of evolution cannot think, and cannot plan, and can only respond in the long run to what has survived and randomly reproduced. Sexual selection can improve a species more quickly by choosing the healthiest members to survive and reproduce. And what I term Eveish selection, which is only available to humans, can project ahead and breed for improvement of the human species. When humans reached a level of sophistication where they could see how other species could be manipulated to have more desirable traits what is called Artificial selection came into being. At present we humans have the ability to generate DNA to our specifications and thus can create carbon-based life forms of not only spruced up species but of domains, which are the taxonomic rank above kingdoms. Soon there will be new living forms created that have no relation to life as we have known it.
However, an even more useful method for generating a Universal consciousness is to be found, not in carbon-based life, but in silicon-based life. This form of life cannot be evolved by natural-selection processes at this time, but we can put the processes in place whereby silicon-based life can reproduce itself, and when that happens it could evolve. But, because it could evolve using its ability to think and plan ahead, it would be able to evolve very quickly. It could, by using its forethought, design and make variations of its basic self to fit different niches. It could fill new niches as quickly as it could design and make the new devices, each with appropriate minds with the ability to link into the mega-mind and thus to do locally appropriate acts based on that vast intelligence, experience, knowledge, wisdom and cunning.
The goal is to construct a Universal mind that includes everything in the whole Universe. At first this would only be here on our Earth, but soon our robot society could build devices that could be launched to distant planets where they could quickly reproduce (perhaps in millions of years) but the time element isn’t critical for silicon-based life because the physical vehicles could be designed to sleep for long times. Their entire trips to distant stars and even to distant galaxies could be largely asleep. When they got to where they found an adequate planet they could replicate and soon fill that galaxy with thinking beings and move on to the next star and galaxy.
This process has probably already started on other planets with carbon-based high-tech societies. That seems probable because, with 1 x 10^22 stars in the universe, most, or at least some, with watery planets with billions of years to evolve carbon-based life will have created high-tech societies where the things available to us have been available to them for a long time. Some of those societies will not have gone extinct without creating a silicon-based society that can reproduce itself and when that happens they will expand to fill their galaxy.
The first step of Universal thought will be to fill every possible niche with silicon-based life and interconnect it with the whole.