Since we're speculating, let me give it a try too.
We know a bit about the Praesides now. (One Praeses, several Praesides? meaning "placed before", another name for "colony governor" That's what Wikipedia says anyway)
We know they are enormous treelike beings that live in vacuum. There are lots of them orbiting the earth. They have some ability to talk (telepathically, probably) to humans. They are enormously patient (since they have babysat space-humans for 5000 years without really making a huge effort to do anything but look after them) and they are just recently getting interested in the humans living on Earth (why they sent the kids down).
Now some (to me obvious) speculation. This is opinion, but it's well supported, I think.
* The Praesides didn't *evolve* in Earth orbit (we would have noticed, and Alice mentions that all the new satellites after The Blink were new.)
* So either they all appeared around Earth at once, around Blink time, or just before Blink time.
* If they came before Blink time, and caused the Blink, then they're kind of alien invaders. Why would they then just babysit half the humans for five millennia? Why so interested in Earth and humans, then suddenly uninterested for 5000 years? If they just wanted Earth as a nice orbiting place, why care about the inhabitants at all? I reject this entire premise.
* If they came at or after Blink time, they didn't cause the Blink, and something else did. Something that was *already* interested in the wars the humans were having, and had had enough of it. Call that thing, i dunno, "Bob". I like this better.
* Bob caused the Blink. Bob also (being rather powerful) recruited the Praesides from elsewhere, and with their permission, Blinked them into Earth orbit. They were "placed before" the earthlings. They agreed to babysit his earthlings (as "colony governors") in return for something they wanted or needed.
* Bob got rid of ALL the AIs. He could have just left them on Earth with their faction, but chose not to. That's a frequently-supposed characteristic of a Singularity AI -- the first AI becomes self-aware enough and powerful enough to upgrade itself, does so, and realizes that other AIs are a threat to it. Boom, no more other AIs. See also Charles Stross' "Eschaton", John Conroe's "Omega", both of whom are weakly-godlike singularity AIs who name themselves after their desire to be the last of their own kind. Hence, Bob is a powerful AI.
* Bob realizes that humans created him, and he has a bit of affection for them, so he saves them from their own racial suicide by blinking their factions apart.
* In other stories, "Omega" and "The Eschaton" both do similar things immediately upon attaining full power. Eliminate other AIs, separate warring humans, disarm everyone.
* Bob set up a stable state on Earth that would prevent or discourage humans from developing industrialization. (5000 years ago we were busy inventing the wheel. Why didn't humans do it again?)
* Bob set up the Nightwalker to seek out a certain level of unexpected high technology (say, nanotech) and raise the alarm if it was found. Which it did.
* Bob either lives on the moon, or near enough to get the signal.
* The Praesides making a move on Earth was either unexpected, or expected eventually as even patient trees get bored after a few millennia. But they started this recent part of the story. It is probably the first thing they've done besides babysit humans for the last 5000 years. EDIT: What triggered their sudden interest might be an interesting point. Alice mentions she tried to communicate with them with really big writing on the ground, etc. Maybe she succeeded and didn't know that?
* The final showdown will involve Bob and the Praesides, whose interests, once aligned, have now diverged.