Short for Simulated Adaptive Matrix, SAM is an artificial intelligence designed by Alec Ryder himself. From his node in Hyperion, SAM receives a direct feed of the Pathfinder's sensory input: it sees and feels as Ryder does, providing them with advanced situational awareness, problem solving, and tactical enhancements. All members of the Pathfinder team receive implants, allowing them to communicate directly with SAM.
There are three other SAMs for arks Paarchero, Natanus, and Leusinia, although the Hyperion SAM is the most advanced with more, and more powerful, capabilities. This is a result of Alec modifying and upgrading him separately until the Hyperion's departure.
The first Pathfinder neural implants were created by Dr. Ellen Ryder, a pioneer in human biotic implant design. While biotic implants bolster and focus electrical signals along the nervous system, Pathfinder implants go a step further by connecting to not only the nervous system, but circulation, endocrine function, and exteroceptive senses.
Synced with an artificial intelligence, the implants reveal their full potential. The implant is a two-way connection, giving full insight into the host's physical and mental state, while allowing it to generate and alter electrical signals along the host's neural pathways that the body processes as its own.
Mass Effect: Andromeda Edit
In the midst of saving his child's life after their helmet was damaged on Habitat 7, Alec transferred his connection to SAM as the young Ryder was made the new Pathfinder. According to Dr. Lexi T'Perro, SAM is connected to young Ryder on a deeper level and, unfortunately, attempting to untangle the connection could kill Ryder.
When SAM attempts to solve an equation given to Ryder by Dr. Aridana, it unknowingly triggered a Trojan horse virus embedded in it, but SAM was able to guide Ryder into restarting its systems before the virus could sever their connection. Upon confronting Aridana, they learn that an anti-AI group on the Nexus had embedded the virus in her equations. Ryder soon makes contact with the anti-AI group through Avina, who believe their plan a success, so SAM advise Ryder play along until they could identity the group's leader, Knight.