PIONEERS. ENGINEERS. CREATIVE MINDS.Tesla Minds is pioneering artificial intelligence. We have a vision and are actively prototyping innovative tech. What we believe will be the foundation of a greater digital space, something that is simple, advanced and above else humane. We have little in the public domain so far. If you like you can visit the blog of our founder, who writes from time to time about some aspects of the tech and other subjects.
We believe video games are about making things possible. We have a vision of what digital reality ultimately can be and what it is that drives video games.
Let us first have a look at a lost ancient Greek word that expresses the essence of our goal — and is also the name of the AI we develop.
ETYMOLOGYXynesis ['zinisis] is ancient Greek and means the innate power of the mind in its highest form, uncompromised intuition, discipline and ethics. In ancient Greek literature the term Xynesis is closely related to the act of uniting, sagacity and conscience. The Greek historian Thucydides, 5th century B.C., spoke of Xynesis as the highest form of human virtue and concluded that after the end of the Periklean Age (444-429 B.C.) no Greek leader possessed this quality any more. In the centuries that followed the word had faded from the Greek language and been lost.
We take the challenge inherent in Xynesis' etymological origin to our heart. We believe that the realities springing forth from our digital animations reflect human desires and dreams. Video games could ultimately resemble life's challenges in all its facets. Yet the reality falls short of the potential.
How often have you desired that the video game you were playing allowed you to use the environment in the game a little bit more intelligently, to use a tool or specifics of a location to your advantage, for a cool idea you just had? The visuals were all there, but the game just didn't allow you to realize your plan. Our intuitive reaction is to hold the game designer responsible for the limitation. But a closer look reveals that the reason is really a limit of paradigm, that artwork and function (code) are produced separately.
We believe that The Matrix by the Wachowski brothers is right about one thing: that everything could be animated by tiny digital building blocks. For this to work there must be a xynthesis of artwork and code, some prototype building block adaptable to any form and context. But it also requires some form of genesis that lends these building blocks inherent qualities that provide for interactive forces between them and the capability to mould and shape increasingly complex objects from them. This is the motivation for the creation of Xynesis' technology, to develop a process that does this simple, straightforward and efficient, a process to express reality.
STATUSWe are currently developing two showcases to demonstrate what the AI is capable of.
If you like to get a general overview of the tech, please have a look at the presentation I prepared for the Nordic Game conference in Malmö in May 2023.
MANAGEMENT TEAMThat's currently just me, Stefan Gollasch. I would describe myself as an inventor but am frequently called computer scientist, AI programmer and engineering manager. My professional background is computer science and quantum physics. From thirty years professional experience with the development of innovative technologies that push the edge of what you can do, I have a firm grasp of what is technically feasible and how to manage projects in order to reduce complexity and achieve maximum synergies. I am capable of breaking complex technical challenges into manageable parts and have excellent communications skills to describe intricate technical issues in common terms easily understood. I am equally skilled at analysing the market and the needs of producers and customers alike as well as designing and implementing solutions and the tool chains that support a project adequately.
EVOLUTIONARY VIDEO GAMES
Video games have come a long way and people who grew up with the Witcher 3 or are now playing games like Elden Ring or Hogwarth's Legacy often know little about what tech needed developing to make these possible. And yet, it just may be that we have just scratched the surface of what truly can be. Let's take a look back at the road video games have taken and, possibly more importantly, at the driving force that will shape its development ahead. What it is why we develop and play games.
Video games are much more than just another product that delivers a predesigned experience like film and book. What you sell is a multidimensional experience that is interactively created by the players themselves, and there is absolutely no reason why a well designed game should cater for mainstream or hardcore gamers only. Interactivity is what sets video games apart from other media and it is the key to empower gamers, to provide them a degree of freedom that they can create an experience as they see fit. This short article examines how video games could evolve around improving interactivity as gaming technology moves forward. My focus is a bit technical and on PC games, but I am certain that the analysis and rationale holds true for all kinds of games.
In the late 1980's I started playing computer games such as Starflight, Elite, Wing Commander and Sim City. These games hadn't the same visual splendour and refinement as we see today but did an excellent job of creating atmosphere and excitement. They literally glued us to the computer. A large part of the excitement stemmed from simply exploring the gameplay, experiencing first hand in what ways the developers had adapted technology to enhance the game's depth. If the developers had done well the technology blended seamlessly into an immersive experience, giving us the feeling to go higher, farther, bolder to where we haven't been before. Nevertheless those of us who understood how games were developed couldn't help but marvel at the human mind who mastered technology that drives our imagination.
While part of the technological progress was obviously dependent on hardware like memory, CPU speed and storage capacity, it was always clear that the real engineering challenge was to implement as much of any set of desired features as the limited resources permitted. Technologically there was a level playing field for all, established and newly founded studios alike, and the barrier of entry was comparatively low, notably without the excessive amount of legal clamping and capital constraints we see today. The real difference manifested itself in the different level of skill mastery each team had, which in turn encouraged a highly competitive spirit to use technology ingeniously.
Back then the studios tended to treat gamers as a unique group of people who looked for a special mix of fun, challenge and excitement. From a player's point of view the use of technology mattered. Not only because it enables interactivity in computer games. It adds another dimension to the experience. To interact with a controller, to experience immediately what elements are responsive to your actions and how you can drive what happens on the screen makes things feel tangible. This helps to create the feedback loop that lets you intuitively DO things and feel as if you are a part of the animated game world. It makes a huge difference whether you are interacting through a streamlined interface or have to do tedious tasks again and again or have your experience interrupted by bugs. It affects how the visual and aural stimuli enhance and capture your imagination. Anyone who plays games can tell the difference. Once you have played a few games you appreciate the games that do things really well and the achievement of their developers. More importantly you are aware that the state of the art is constantly evolving and that there is much much more to be had. You naturally develop an expectation towards what the next games could be, an expectation that drives the industry.
Considering how things were in the early 90s video games have come a long way. But have they left childhood yet? With success stories like Tomb Raider and Warcraft in the mid 90s more money began to be pouring into the games industry and productions tended to get bigger and more ambitious. At the end of the 90s the funds available and the ingenuity of people inspired by the achievements of the video games industry had led to titles such as Relic's Homeworld (1999), Ionstorm's Deus Ex (2000), Gremlin's Soulbringer (2000), Bioware's Baldur's Gate (1998), SimTex's Master of Orion II (1996) and Black Isle's Planescape Torment (1999). Each of these titles did so many things right and created a depth of gameplay that hasn't been surpassed since then. Essentially all the ingredients we love in modern video games were already present then; the flawless presentation of a real-time strategy masterpiece of truly epic proportions by Relic; the rich atmosphere, seamlessly integrated cinematic cutscenes, intriguing magic system and traps of Soulbringer; Deus Ex's blend of conspiracy thriller and original locations interactively accessible through a wealth of interactive objects and playing styles; the subtle characters, living artefacts and unique quest revolving around ethics and identity in Torment; and in general a wealth of other things like motion capture, excellent voice acting and real-time lighting. There was no question that these games delivered a gripping experience. This was complemented by developer diaries on the web and an increasing number of good interviews that provided a treat of first hand information that helped to build a community who anticipated new releases.
What followed was what I call the monetization and control phase of the video games industry. Increasing pressure by the publishers led the studios to adopt production processes not unlike those of the film industry. With very tight schedules, creativity took a backseat and the main focus was on execution; tremendous effort was invested in refining the look & feel, the artwork, polishing the graphics and making the gameplay accessible to the mass market. Everything IS focused on the experience the player lives through while interacting with the game world. It is true that this is the most important aspect of a video game and you cannot fault the studios for that. But there is one thing amiss here. These productions tend to deliver the experience, not necessarily linear, but within a framework similar to a movie, using interactivity as a mere means, although the interactive media's greatest strength is to evoke a much more multidimensional experience. Consequently, sadly, many titles turned out to deliver an experience worthy of a movie but were somehow still unsatisfactory, and often you could not pinpoint why.
Things changed again with the advent of Kickstarter and indie games emerging as a powerful force around 2012. New ideas and concepts were tried, some more, some less successful, but it had an impact on the audience and as a result also on the large publishers of video games. It gave development studios a higher degree of freedom, at least to experiment with new concepts and technologies. Today we witness this cycle coming to fruition, with an independent developer like Larian Studios setting new standards with Baldurs Gate 3 that will also be a benchmark for triple A producers.
Some years ago I showed the sons of my cousin, aged 11 and 7 back then, New World Computing's Heroes of Might and Magic III, released in 1999. This particular installment has a very user-friendly interface and probably the best enemy AI ever devised for a turn-based strategy game, that makes playing against it a pleasure and adds a huge replay value. The kids took great pleasure in observing, inquiring how things work and understanding the goals of the gameplay. They also loved to watch me playing and to ask why I do this and that. And to my surprise - Heroes III centers on conquest and competition - they started out playing without second thought cooperatively, giving each other and their friends, when they had joined them later, helpful tips and hints how to do things better. The appeal of the game held for a long time and they divided the land fairly among them.
Similar to how kids explore how things work on a basic level, adults and teenagers love to experiment and explore their world. It's only their desires are more mature, focusing on their feelings, attitudes, achievements and goals. Although game worlds are a product of fiction, the experience while playing is real. It is a unique blend of the emotions triggered by the game and the desires and associations the player has. What sets video games apart from traditional media like film and book is its ability to actively participate in and shape the events stored on the medium. Interactivity adds depth in two ways: first, it lets us actually make choices; and second, it allows us to explore much more deeply the way we make choices or break new ground. It is the second aspect that leads to a satisfying game experience for the more mature mind. Video games feature cause-and-effect that provides feedback to gauge the impact of actions. We experience first hand the result of our choices, our emotions associated with it and learn whether we are satisfied with the outcome or would like to try differently the next time. Albeit there is a huge market for games that explore this potential constructively, very few games actually do. This is one reason that The Sims is outrageously successful. It isn't so much a question to which genre a title belongs, but more an issue whether it captures successfully the spirit of exploration. Games such as Knights of the Old Republic, in which interactivity and story elements are crafted well together, or the appeal of The Longest Journey and Square Enix' Final Fantasy prove that.
Ultimately interactivity provides us with a degree of freedom. In video games this degree is at the same time more and also less than in our mundane world. We don't have the constraints of the roles and social context we are used to or the same fear of mortal danger. But we are very much constricted by the decisions the game designers make and the limits the technology places on them. This contrast, between technical limitations on the one hand and our desires on the other, defines very much the way video games evolve. Interactivity is the key and its status as the most powerful enabler must be properly reflected in the production process and technology used therein. The current split between artwork, story and code cannot be sustained for long and is detrimental as well on production costs as on the experience created. In many titles interactivity increasingly has become a chore in order to advance through the plot. What we desire is a fresh experience and more freedom. Freedom can have many faces. Freedom from conflict, freedom to choose, freedom from distractions, freedom from bugs, freedom to fight for what we believe, or the freedom to embark on an adventure, a quest, or to explore what we can achieve. Video games are about making things possible.
INVESTOR RELATIONSA special page for investors with the option to log-in and review confidential information is currently under preparation.
BIOStefan Gollasch - I was born in 1965 in Germany and as a child I was always interested to learn how things worked and to understand the reasons and mechanics behind it. As a fourteen year old I was fascinated by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and the idea of finding a set of universal laws that describe the processes in our world relatively simple, and particularly by Einstein's mind who left known patterns of thought and envisioned fundamental structure beyond matter and forces. At school I was among the first pupils being taught programming computers and it was immediately clear to me that this technology had nearly unlimited potential, that we effectively had a machine that would execute any amount of instructions that we could think of. A few years later at university I learned to address the engineering aspects of computer science - and about the limitations of the technology.
While I wholeheartily embraced the solid theoretical foundation and practical skills taught at university, I felt that its research and curricula lagged substantially behind the technologically fast progressing industry. I realized that the actual shape of the technology was defined by the people who developed innovative solutions that push the edge. I couldn't help but to be affected by this spirit and followed the developments closely, with a particular focus on processing architectures, operating systems and programming methodologies. Naturally, my own vision of where the path ultimately might lead developed, and driven by my interest in physics - I had devoted a good deal of my time over the years to truly understand Einstein's ideas - I began to research systematically the concurrent processes apparent in nature and the lessons that could be learned by applying the same principles to the design of processing architectures and applications.
When I learned of an advanced transputer design, called the T9000, in 1991, I left university to found my first company that specialized on the simulation of physical chemistry. The transputer was an invention of the English company Inmos specifically designed to build huge multi-processor systems. Its latest iteration, the T9000, was on par with the i860 from Intel, had on-chip support for high-speed links that channeled data between processors and a number of other features that pushed the edge in parallel computing. Back then it promised adaptable and cheap super-computer processing grids, very much alike what Sony is aiming at with its distributed processing concept for the PS5 today. With this hardware, my research on parallel designs and my knowledge of fundamental physics, I was certain that I could develop a parallel OS ideally suited to a distributed physics simulation that featured a high volume of interactions. My goal was to provide a solution that could predict chemical reactions under varying physical conditions, including zero gravity, temperatures near absolute zero, strong electromagnetic fields and extreme pressures. The simulator should visually display the reactions and provide researchers and engineers with insights that would make many laboratory experiments redundant. The work on this machine continued until well into 1993.
Unfortunately, the T9000 was killed by Inmos' parent company SGS Thomson in 1993. In a spate of corporate politics they decided to build DSPs in Inmos' fabs instead. At this time it was clear to me that desktop systems were constantly growing in power with ongoing miniaturisation — what until then had required a graphics workstation did fit on a graphics card now — and that the markets for consumers, entertainment and simulation will inevitably converge. The concepts and technologies I had developed for the simulator were shelved. I reverted back to being a researcher who developed enabling technologies.
In 1998 I developed software for a very large German engineering company who builds everything ranging from mobile phones over railway control systems to power plants. While this provided me valuable insights into how a large multinational organizes itself, I somehow felt constrained by the corporate politics that dictated how to do things and all too often in an illogical way. During 1999 and part of 2000 I worked through a consultancy for one of the directors of another German multinational. My task was to evaluate the documents that were provided by more than 150 successful German and multinational corporations for a management study into learning organisations. This turned out to be a stroke of luck. It appeared that many of the top executives from different companies did know each other personally which significantly affected the quality of the materials provided. These were largely confidential and provided excellent insights into corporate strategies usually not available to outsiders. I was able to witness the state of the art as well as the strategic planning of human resource development, the deployment of IT throughout an organisation and which role it had in qualifying and enabling the workforce and managers. On the other hand I was entirely free to spend half my time to continue working on the technologies I envisioned.
In 1999 the direction in which I was researching was profoundly impacted by The Matrix of the Wachowski Brothers. They had delivered a genius strike, not only by the movie's story but by defining reality anew. They brilliantly merged virtual reality with physics and showed us that the choices we make and the quantum field are two sides of one coin, and that it doesn't matter whether the underlying rules are of a digital or physical nature. In this light the question, whether our choices determine the quantum field or not, becomes one with belief. From this the tiny digital building blocks that could animate everything and are the basis of the Xynesis AI emerged.
The two main challenges I faced were to make these digital building blocks adaptable to any context and to animate complex scenes built from them in real time. Alex Stepanov, the creator of C++'s STL, once said that "The reason that data structures and algorithms can work together seamlessly is ... that they do not know anything about each other." The Xynesis AI evolved around a similar paradigm and is today a general purpose modelling tool that layers structure over entities. Each entity can have inner structure that addresses the next more granular layer of component entities. To complement this, I developed various techniques that implement the building blocks' generic functionality. This implementation needed to be scalable to entity structures of higher complexity without loss of efficiency and should ideally give high-level entities distinguishable qualities solely based on their layered architecture.
After 2003 I developed more and more advanced techniques until I reached eventually the point where a more fundamental progress was required. A breakthrough that gives us insight how realities and intelligence are interweaved and shows us how to tackle the big algorithmic questions of abstraction and universal intelligence. I also worked for a time for Ubisoft to develop an AI for Heroes of Might & Magic V to which I have still a connection 15 years later.
The steps of my career are detailed in my LinkedIn profile and my blog has an extended commented write-up of the important ones that shaped me. For an overview into which direction the technology has evolved I recommend looking at the presentation referenced in the News section.
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There is truth in all.
No power in the universe would prevent us being one.