Back when I was about 19 years old, I was supposed to be going to college but instead found myself smoking weed all day with my roommates and making video games and other cool stuff in my computer.
It was one day where I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my career. Video games and the entertainment industry did not seem to fully fulfill me. I wanted to create something big, something that would require all of my major interests: psychology, cognitive sciences, software development, etc. Back then, I was clearly very immature, but decided to fully commit myself to focus on making artificial minds.
Ever since that moment, I began taking notes and thinking very intensely about how would I actually implement an artificial mind. About 3 years passed where I would take notes regularly, mostly on paper. My notes were a big mess that when read many months later it was very hard to remember exactly what I was referring to.
As time kept passing, I stopped taking notes and started focusing more on my personal well being. I used to be very… intense with my ideas and my way of seeing the world. At one point when I turned 23, I felt like that dream of creating artificial minds was just a very weird thing and that it wasn’t really worth pursuing anymore. This turned out to be the beginning of a dark period in my life. I suddenly had no direction, no big dream to aspire to. I didn’t know what to do with my life.
Two years passed, I’m at the peak of anxiety, I’m feeling completely lost. Looking for answers, I stumble upon a familiar title “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. After reading this book, it was extremely obvious what had happened. I was becoming the old shop owner that the young man helped in his journey. I felt an immediate sensation of urgency, hope and fear.
It was clear now that I had lost my way, but it was also clear that this is the way that it had to happen. As I said, I used to be very intense, think Terry A. Davis the creator of Temple OS.
Just so you can get an idea you can see something I wrote back then.
Abandoning the goal of creating artificial minds helped me become more sane, more reasonable, relatable and realistic. This is exactly what I needed to be able to continue in my journey. Not only that but my ideas matured as well, my resistance to study existing similar works is now non-existent. I like to think that I’m know moving to the other end of the sanity spectrum — think Andreas Kling the creator of Serenity OS.
I used to hate school and academia.
So realizing how the dots connected, it was obvious that I needed to start working on this again. But this time, with a different approach.
This is actually spiritual work for me
I feel kinda hesitant to share this but I think it may be important. The reason why I want to build artificial minds is because it connects me to who I am.
Whenever I’m writing notes or coding an experiment, I experience a deep connection to my own experience as a present human being as if I’m looking at myself through some strange intricate mirror.
Why? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure I want to know the answer. But what I do know for sure is that I need to do this work. I have no certainty of what the future may hold. The only thing in my hands is the work I need to do today.