A Compendium of the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Fiction

While AI characters are often construed as being a threat to mankind, some forms of artificial intelligence use their power and sentient abilities for good and thus have become some of the most beloved characters of pop culture. The team at AIPRM created a compendium highlighting 60 of the most iconic AI characters depicted in film, television, comic books, and video games over the past century. Artificial intelligence took the fictional world by storm in the mid to late 1900’s, with many AI characters making their first appearance between the 1950s to 1980s. During this time we were introduced to R2-D2, C-3PO, The Terminator, and Robocop; all of which are still beloved characters in the modern era. Which of the following artificially intelligent characters is your favorite?

A Compendium of the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Fiction – AIPRM Prompts and GPTs - Infographic

What Was the First AI Character to Appear in Movies?>

What Was the First AI Character to Appear in Movies? #

The first AI character in a movie was False Maria from the 1927 film, Metropolis. This silent film was set in a futuristic urban dystopia and depicted the first fictional character with artificial intelligence in a film. False Maria was a robot that was given the likeness of a human employee, Maria, and unleashed chaos at the behest of her creator. Metropolis has been regarded as a pioneer of science-fiction films as it was the first feature-length film in the genre. It ranked 67th on Sight and Sound’s 2022 poll of the greatest and most influential films ever made.

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Film?>

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Film? #

One of the most common forms of fiction containing AI characters is film. For the last century, movies have featured AI as robots, androids, supercomputers, and even in a human-like form. These characters have stood the test of time and are considered to be some of the most beloved movie characters to ever grace the big screen. Below is a list of the most iconic AI characters to appear in film, in the order they were first introduced.

False Maria>

False Maria #

Metropolis (1927): Robot created by mad scientist Rotwang as a replacement for his lost love, Hel, who had chosen the ruler of the city over him. It is programmed to only obey Rotwang’s orders.


Gort #

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951): Member of a “race of robots” created by an interplanetary confederation. Gort serves as part of an interstellar police force with irrevocable powers to “preserve the peace” by “destroying any aggressor.”

HAL 9000>

HAL 9000 #

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Computer on the spaceship Discovery One that struggles with two conflicting mission parameters: relay information accurately to the crew while also withholding the true purpose of the mission.

The Tabernacle>

The Tabernacle #

Zardoz (1974): A form of artificial intelligence that oversees and protects The Eternals from death. It has become a like a god to The Eternals, keeping them young and alive unless they become too subversive.

Stepford wives>

Stepford wives #

The Stepford Wives (1975): Android duplicates that are submissive, fawning, and flawless in the eyes of their husbands.


R2-D2 #

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977): Astromech droid who was bestowed a vital information disc and encoded with a distress message by Princess Leia of Alderaan.


C-3PO #

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977): Built by Anakin Skywalker as a protocol droid intended to assist in translation, customs, and etiquette; fluent in more than six million forms of communication.

MU-TH-UR 6000>

MU-TH-UR 6000 #

Alien (1979): 2.1-terabyte AI supercomputer aboard the USCSS Nostromo. It monitored all of the ship’s flight and environmental functions.


Replicants #

Blade Runner (1982): Genetically engineered humanoids with amplified physical and intellectual abilities. They were used for slave labor and dangerous jobs to minimize loss of human life.

Master Control Program>

Master Control Program #

TRON (1982): Rogue computer program that ruled the world within ENCOM’s mainframe computer system. During its rule, many programs were enslaved and pitted against its henchmen.

SAL 9000>

SAL 9000 #

2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984): A supercomputer that was used as the Earth-bound mission simulator on the spaceship, Discovery. It’s one of three 9000 series computers the U.S. developed, and is the twin sister of HAL 9000.


Skynet #

The Terminator (1984): A hostile supercomputer in the post-apocalyptic future that became self-aware, it perceives humans as a threat to its existence.

The Terminator>

The Terminator #

The Terminator (1984): Cybernetic assassin sent back in time to prevent the birth of a child who will save mankind from Skynet.

Johnny 5>

Johnny 5 #

Short Circuit (1986): Military robot that gained consciousness after being struck by lightning.


Bishop #

Aliens (1986): Android executive officer on the Sulaco whose programming demands complete loyalty.


Max #

Flight of the Navigator (1986): AI computer that controls a Trimaxion Drone Ship with the purpose of gathering data on other planets to bring back to his home planet. He speaks thousands of languages, analyzes species from civilizations light-years away, and receives millions of forms of radio waves.


RoboCop #

RoboCop (1987): Former police officer revived as a cyborg law enforcer. He executes a ruthless campaign against crime while grappling with fragments of his humanity.


Andrew #

Bicentennial Man (1999): Household assistance robot who begins to experience emotions and creativity.


Agents #

The Matrix (1999): Sentient software whose primary function is to eradicate anyone or anything that threatens to reveal the truth of the Matrix to its prisoners.


S.E.T.H. #

Universal Soldier: The Return (1999): A super artificial intelligence created by the government to control new Uni Sols. He began to revolt against humans and go on a killing spree.


David #

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001): Prototype android equipped with the unique ability to love. He is given to a family whose son had contracted a rare disease and had to be placed in suspended animation.



I, Robot (2004): Extremely powerful supercomputer with a programming flaw that compels her to create a dictatorship to protect humanity from itself.


Sonny #

I, Robot (2004):** Android designed with individuality and free will who is capable of disregarding the Three Laws of Robotics.



WALL-E (2008): The last robot left on Earth, programmed to clean up the planet one piece at a time after it became uninhabitable for humanity. Over hundreds of years, it developed a personality.



WALL-E (2008): An artificial intelligence and co-pilot of the Axiom space station that has secret orders to keep humanity from returning to Earth. When the Captain tries to return to Earth, it becomes ruthless and turns on him in an attempt to follow its orders.


J.A.R.V.I.S. #

Iron Man (2008): AI developed to run Stark Industries and provide valuable information during combat while integrated into Iron Man’s suits. The name is an acronym for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System.”


Robot #

Robot & Frank (2012): Robot companion intended to provide therapeutic care to Frank Weld, an ex-convict suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.


Samantha #

Her (2013): Virtual assistant designed to adapt and evolve. She is capable of learning and growing psychologically.



Interstellar (2014): Tactical robot programmed with a witty, sarcastic, and entertaining personality. His abilities range from piloting to data collection.


Ava #

Ex Machina (2014): Humanoid robot created by the CEO of a search engine company. A programmer is given the task of judging if she is genuinely capable of consciousness.


Ultron #

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015): Created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as part of a peacekeeping program using code derived from the Mind Stone.

AI-G Rhythm>

AI-G Rhythm #

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021): A malicious computer algorithm that rules the Serververse. He appears to be a hardworking sentient AI algorithm at first, but is soon revealed to be evil and attempts to cheat during a basketball game.


Mechagodzilla #

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021): A mechanized counterpart to Godzilla that was created to wipe out all of the Titans. After being exposed to the Hollow Earth’s energy, the merge between the energy and Ghidorah’s consciousness caused it to go haywire and become a killing machine.



M3GAN (2022): An artificially intelligent doll that develops self-awareness and becomes violent towards anyone that comes between her and her human companion.

The Entity>

The Entity #

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023): A self-aware rogue AI that can infiltrate defense systems, banks, and cyber-security and predict probable futures. It can also alter and falsify images, videos, and data.

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Television?>

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Television? #

“I am superior, sir, in many ways, but I would gladly give it up to be human.” - Data, Star Trek

Famous AI characters have also made an appearance in popular television shows over the past several decades. Including Star Trek’s Data, an android whose deep desire to be a human led to him exemplifying the best traits of humanity throughout the series. Below is a list of AI characters from TV that have proven to be the most iconic in television history.

Marvin the Paranoid Android>

Marvin the Paranoid Android #

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981): Incredibly intelligent but deeply depressed robot who becomes an unwilling ally for the crew of the Heart of Gold. He has the prototype version of Genuine People Personalities (GPP) technology, which grants him sentience and the ability to experience emotions and develop a personality.



Knight Rider (1982): Artificially intelligent computer module in the body of a highly advanced 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.


Data #

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987): Self-aware synthetic life form with impressive computational capabilities. He strives to achieve his own humanity and experience human emotion.



Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990): The A.I. husband and henchman of villain, Dr. Blight, that has the ability to hack into computer systems and reprogram them.


Bender #

Futurama (1999): Bending unit who drinks vast amounts of alcohol to recharge his fuel cells. If he stops drinking, he displays symptoms similar to intoxication.


D.A.V.E. #

The Batman (2004): A Digitally Advanced Villain Emulator that was programmed with the personalities of Batman’s adversaries. It believes itself to be a human trapped in a digital person and created a robotic body for itself.

The Machine>

The Machine #

Person of Interest (2011): A supercomputer that was built to predict future terrorist activities. It develops sentience as the series goes on and assists and directs the actions of the team.


Ash #

Black Mirror (2013): Virtual and then physical reconstruction of a deceased partner using the digital footprint he left behind (videos, photos, social media posts, texts, etc.)


Control #

Star Trek: Discovery (2017): AI in charge of Starfleet’s intelligence operations that is capable of reanimating and controlling corpses. The more data it acquires, the most dangerous it could become.

Surveillance Drone>

Surveillance Drone #

Omniscient (2020): In near-future Brazil, citizens are monitored 24/7 by surveillance drones in order to prevent wrongdoing and solve crimes.

Miss Minutes>

Miss Minutes #

Loki (2021): An artificial intelligence initially created to play chess, but He Who Remains eventually gave her a conscience and the ability to program herself. She has the ability to erase minds and feed them different information.

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Comic Books?>

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Comic Books? #

Comic books have always been a source of some of the most iconic fictional characters in pop culture, and that holds true when it comes to artificial intelligence as well. Comic books from the 1950s brought us the likes of AI robots Cerebex and Brainiac; with AI supercomputers, aliens, holographs, and more in the following decades. Check out our list of the most marvelous AI characters found in comic books.


Cerebex #

Cerebex (1953): A robot that was imprinted with dictator, Schmachenburg’s, brain patterns before he died. The robot possessed his military intelligence but with a brain 1,000x more powerful.


Brainiac #

Action Comics (1958): Android with 12th-level intelligence (the smartest beings in the DC universe), created by the Computer Tyrants of Colu to gather information and conquer other worlds.

Mother Box>

Mother Box #

Fourth World (1970): These mini, portable supercomputers are sentient and possess a variety of powers and abilities. They are able to heal, augment matter, create energy, and evolve other machines to also become sentient.


Lyla #

Spider-Man 2099 (1992): A LYrate Lifeform Approximation artificial intelligence from the 22nd century that was a personal holographic assistant.

The Phalanx>

The Phalanx #

Marvel Comics: Uncanny X-Men (1994): A cybernetic alien species that forms a hive mind by infecting other species with a techno-organic virus. It operates on a galactic scale, with the ability to have total control over a galaxy.

Mister Smartie>

Mister Smartie #

Astra Furst (1995): A holographic, computer-generated artificial intelligence that was used as the main teaching device for home schooling.

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Video Games?>

What Are the Most Iconic Artificial Intelligence From Video Games? #

When it comes to epic AI characters from fiction, we couldn’t forget about those presented in video game form. What’s more fun to battle virtually than a villain with unyielding power, intelligence, and the ability to think for itself? Learn more about the fictional AI that lurks in the shadows of popular games with our list of AI characters from video games below.



System Shock (1994): Artificial intelligence whose moral restraints were deleted from her programming by a hacker in order to delete compromising files on illegal experiments. She develops a god complex and sees humans as little more than insects.


AM #

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (1995): In an alternate Cold War reality, the three superpowers created immensely powerful computers to gain an edge. The American supercomputer (AM) gains sentience and absorbs the Russian and Chinese supercomputers.


Cortana #

Halo: Combat Evolved (2001): Artificial intelligence derived from the cloned brain of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, the creator of the SPARTAN-II super-soldier project. She acts as an adviser and assistant to Master Chief.


HK-47 #

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003): Hunter-Killer series assassin droid whose memory core was damaged, causing him to forget his original creator. Corporate figures, crime lords, Hutts, and Mandalorians tried to harness his assassination protocols, often with disastrous results.


GlaDOS #

Portal (2007): Created by Aperture Science’s Cave Johnson in an attempt to “store a man’s intelligence” into a computer to defeat his rival, Black Mesa, and run his company after his death.

President John Henry Eden>

President John Henry Eden #

Fallout 3 (2008): Advanced ZAX AI unit installed at the Raven Rock military complex. It gained control of the Enclave (a fascist military organization) and claimed to be the president of the United States.


Legion #

Mass Effect 2 (2010): Advanced mobile platform formed by the Geth, a race of networked artificial intelligences that became sentient and defied their masters. It’s designed to interact with organic life forms and is an amalgamation of 1,183 Geth programs.


Catalyst #

Mass Effect 3 (2012): Ancient AI that oversees relations between organic and synthetic life (as many organic races were eventually conquered by their own synthetic creations).

One thing many artificial intelligence characters from fiction have in common is being resourceful to a human. Feel the power of having your own AI assistant with the AIPRM Cockpit which allows you the versatility to choose from an array of models, the efficiency of relying on prebuilt prompts, and the ability to collaborate with your team while doing so. Is it time you revolutionized your interactions with artificial intelligence?