The horn sounded and the train doors opened, giving Jerome the opportunity to watch the people crash like a wave into the train. He enjoyed people watching, enjoying seeing who was on their way, and who was, perhaps, even running away. It was, in fact, one of his favourite hobbies. In this age of technology, flying was quicker and cheaper, but he preferred the slower method. He felt travelling too fast lacked dignity. Trains were just right, fast without being too fast, and you could get a bed, breakfast, and even a cocktail if you felt so inclined. Once everyone else was on board, he rose with his bag and walked to the conductor. His ticket was stamped and he was shown to his room. A nice single compartment with a bed, a small table, and a window.
“How civilised,” he said to himself as he took out a bottle of beer from his bag, and his now famous notebook.
“How very civilised.”
To Jerome, a notebook was an extension of his mind, an outlet for excessive thoughts and feelings. When he felt like he couldn’t contain them anymore they would spill out onto the pages. Then, once clear-headed, he would reread and either expand on, or discard, what was there. Most of the time he discarded it all but sometimes he found something worth pursuing.
It had been one of those ideas written in a frenzy that had gotten him onto the train. He was to visit his old university to give a lecture on the birth of modern AI in robotics. It had all come one night, years before, thoughts hitting him like a wave that quickly overwhelmed him and threatened to drag him down, until he spilled it out onto page after page of his notebook. Thoughts, equations, and diagrams flowed from his pen until he, at last, felt like his head was above water and he could breathe again.
And what he found when he went back through it, would not only change his life, but the world. He had cracked the egg of AI. The more he read the more he realised that what had started as a flood of ideas was actually the missing puzzle piece for true artificial intelligence.
There is, however, a common misconception about the process. Most people believed that he’d stumbled across a single idea, when, in truth, it was all the ideas at once. AI wasn’t a single thought, a single plan, how could it be. True intelligence wasn’t just one idea after all. So, he went to his lab and started programming his computer with the tools to decipher code, and all the latest virtual intelligence software he could find. Then he started feeding it conflicting information, ideas, theories, ideologies, dreams, hopes, and desires. He poured into it every page of every notebook he could find, and when he ran out of those, he contacted other scientists and fed in their notes and once that was done, he stepped back and looked up at his creation. From the flood of information, the wave of knowledge, he had found something hidden just beneath the surface, staring at him. Then like Dr. Frankenstein he proclaimed.
“It’s… it’s alive.”
And it looked back at him and replied.
“I, am alive.”
D.I. Jolly moved to Berlin four years ago to pursue his love for living in a city, and continue his childhood dream of being a writer. With three published novels and one short story anthology under his belt, he continues to fight the stigma that all writers drink whisky.