SEMMANT – Artificial Brain

“In a month, the most difficult, hidden, internal modules were finished; my robot was born!…” – SEMMANT

Visuals - SEMMANT - AI

cover_semmantmyqmarkI wasn’t just indulging in dreams, my brain worked at full power – projecting, designing, altering. I sped south in my car from Tyrol, homeward, while in my head the most complicated schemes spun tirelessly, the contours of new life – life created ex nihilo.

Somewhere on a serpentine mountain road at Bolzano I thought through the details for heuristic fine-tuning. The artificial mind would turn out impulsive – and quick and sharp. It was somewhat similar to my own, I thought with a certain satisfaction and began to picture the most important thing: self-learning. Success depended to a large degree on this, and I was so absorbed in my musings that several times I turned the wrong way or strayed onto forks in the road, cursing through my teeth. Finally, somewhere around Brescia the key algorithm became clear to me, and I was so encouraged I laughed out the open window, then pulled into the very next village and drank late into the night with truckers from Verona.

Driving through Marseille I had the taste of bile in my mouth, but at that very moment I visualized the most important of the objective functions – and I forgave the city everything, and afterward just whispered to myself: polynomial, polynomial. The curve, approximating key points, uncoiled before my eyes like a tamed snake. Then, finally, as I approached Barcelona, I understood how to make Semmant doubt and weigh all the odds, picking the best ones and then subjecting them to doubt again. At the back of my consciousness blinked his integral image, computationally strict, but touching and responsive. Maybe I should have stopped and written something down to keep from forgetting it later, but I was impatient to return to Madrid, so I relied on my memory and just drove as fast as I could.

At home, I attacked the keyboard with a fury; I didn’t move from in front of it for days. I kept on punching in command after command of clever code, beginning, of course, with the internal logic, with the most important base procedures. My instrument, my method – millions of entangled neuron quanta – was not yet adapted to the specific goal. It was necessary to put together a foundation from the building blocks. To link the most sensitive elements to each other, adjust components, find a true balance between speed and power, restraint and freedom, concision and fullness. From a series of harmonics I had to pick the frequencies of optimal cycles: pause – torrent of thought; contemplation – understanding, enlightenment…

Again, I slept little and ate even less; my hands shook, I lost weight. A fever, akin to insanity – much more insane than my present doctor knows – dominated me without reprieve. The savage pressure would not let up for a moment. The interior of my apartment seemed somehow unreal, the furniture and walls spinning before my eyes. Only the text of the rapidly expanding program remained steady – unshakable, cold, as if made of ice. Every symbol, each constant laying the framework for future constructions had to be combined flawlessly, with surgical precision. Nonessential, ambiguous clauses could not be tolerated. The smoothness of the circumscribing lines, the purity of the crystal edges, the diamond hardness of an invisible nucleus – this was essential, and, ultimately, I got what I wanted. In a month, the most difficult, hidden, internal modules were finished; my robot was born!… – SEMMANT

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