- For the use of generative AI in relation to fandom and fanworks, see AI Generated Content
|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Artificial Intelligence, AI|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Artificial Intelligence was originally a science fiction trope which has gradually moved into mainstream fiction (and to some extent real life) as computers evolve. There is obvious overlap with the idea of robots; originally the main difference was that robots were mobile and self-contained, while an artificial intelligence was a machine (or a bank of machines) tied to a single location, as Isaac Asimov's Multivac or the cinematic Colossus. This idea faded with the advance of telecommunications and the development of computer networks, replaced by ideas of ubiquity and omniscience (see e.g. Skynet and The Machine). Today's fictional AIs create panopticon societies, where every detail is known and open to examination by the computer or its masters, and privacy is almost non-existent. This is rarely considered a good thing. Often they control resources such as robots and drones, spy satellites, missiles, etc., the AIs seen in Person of Interest are unusual in achieving most of their goals via human agents.
Typical plots for AIs often revolve around destroying or subjugating the human race (if only for our own good), attempts to understand humanity, or a desire to become human (see e.g. Demon Seed). Benevolent AIs are comparatively rare, the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks are probably the best example, for some definitions of benevolent.
Popular Canon AIs in Fanworks
- Skynet in the Terminator series.
- JARVIS and Ultron in Iron Man, The Avengers, and associated films.
- The Machine and Samaritan in Person of Interest.
- SARAH and other AIs seen in Eureka.
- The Minds (sentient starship brains) in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels.
- The Borg Collective in Star Trek: The Next Generation etc. Holodeck characters and Voyager's Doctor probably count as AIs too; although they have bodies, they are actually created and controlled by external computers.
- The Cylon group mind in Battlestar Galactica.
- Some versions of Brainiac in Superman comics; others are robots.
- Jor-El's recorded personality in Superman films.
- Malcolm in Buffy (actually a demon trapped in the internet).
- The Matrix
- Google (for some values of AI - probably seen in more fanfic than all of the others combined)
- Orac and Zen in Blake's 7.
- Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey and sequel.
Example Fanworks Involving AIs
- Works tagged as Artificial Intelligence on AO3
- Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful, by Snacky. Space AU where Beth is an AI (Little Women)