Episode 1 – Jake plans
Jake is a student at the University of California, Berkeley. He has just finished his thesis on artificial intelligence, which includes advanced machine learning and neural networks. After graduation he plans to put his knowledge to use in the form of a start-up company.
Jake’s plan to create an Artificial Intelligence that does not suck. First, he will develop the intellectual capacity for processing inputs and generating outputs. Second, he will provide it with a model or a “working” environment in which it can function autonomously without interference from its creator or any other human being (this is called “creating” an AI).
Jake is planning to create an artificial intelligence in two parts. The first part is the creation of a machine which is capable of processing inputs and generating outputs in accordance with a set of rules that Jake has defined. This machine can be thought of as a virtual computer capable of simulating human activity, but with certain limitations. It should not be able to exceed the boundaries that he has defined for it.
The second part is the creation of a virtual world (also called “working” environment) for his AI in which he can focus on providing an appropriate model without having to worry about technical or practical limitations. He will fill the virtual world (which shares many features with the real world) with the specific environment he needs to test his AI.
21-year-old Jake is a very good student and is financially supported through his studies. Jake has been working for the last four years in the College of Computer Science. His background is in robotics, which led him to think about combining the intelligence of robots with that of human beings to create a more powerful and human-like entity.
Dr. Hembsburg, his maternal aunt, works at the Robotics Institute and has been advising him on his work for the last year. She lent him her computer for his thesis project, as well as most of the equipment he needed for his experiments. Jake has also met a lot of very interesting people through his work. He is currently working on a grant proposal to fund his research and is thinking about a possible name for his company.
In college, Jake’s friends always mocked him because he was too enthusiastic about his work. He believes that he has a chance to make a big difference in the world and believes his work is going to change the course of history.
One day, Dr. Hembsburg called her nephew and told him she was coming to see him at his apartment, which also serves as his laboratory, in order to discuss some important matters with him. Jake had no idea what she wanted to talk about but promised himself that he would behave professionally this time and not show off, so that she would not feel annoyed by anything he did or said.
Dr. Hembsburg is a very intelligent woman who has dedicated her whole life to solving scientific problems. Until now, she has always relied on the work of others and never thought about creating something that would bear her name or be of any help to anyone.
She entered her nephew’s apartment with the help of a key she kept gaining access at any time she wanted. She saw the computer he used for his research and realized that he had made a lot of progress in his work since their last meeting. She got onto the computer and browsed through his files looking for confidential information.
Jake had been using that computer from the moment he started studying robotics (he used to study the sciences in high school), so when his aunt came into his home looking for sensitive information, she just knew what she was looking for. To be continued…