A science fiction
series by Jack Chalker
The great machine that runs everything which has taken over the Earth has gone mad and the only way to stop it is by collecting several special rings which were designed to be the access keys.
Charged with keeping mankind from destroying itself, the computer decided the only way of doing so was to essentially depopulate the Earth, sending people into space to populate other worlds. However, terraforming these worlds would take too long, so the computer chose to transform the people instead. Some of the new forms were only vaguely humanoid, but were what was necessary in order to allow them to survive on the planets that were available.
The computer was required to place the rings in the hands of people of authority in their various homelands, but it effectively bypassed this security measure by spreading them over the known universe, and among people so transformed they couldn't even survive on Earth.