Saturday, September 27, 2014

Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful. Obedient. Opinionated.


Thanks to the magic of comic books, in which devices and constructs have often proven to be well beyond our current level of scientific achievement, we've seen our share of artificial intelligence (A.I.) units that have been put to good use by our heroes and villains. My personal favorite was the computer tactical intelligence which guided the cyborg Deathlok on his missions, though Deathlok himself may have something to say about who was the actual boss in this arrangement:



Given the temperament of Luther Manning, whose damaged body eventually became "Deathlok," the computer had to often insist (for lack of a better word) on a course of action while a mission was being carried out, which resulted in it and Manning taking an almost argumentative stance with each other. The computer didn't have a personality, as we understand it; rather, it was simply performing optimally in order to ensure that Deathlok survived.

But I also have some runners-up that include other noteworthy A.I.s. There was Madame MacEvil's overworked (and unappreciated) computer:




And how about Reed Richards' mobile computer, H.E.R.B.I.E.--which had a slight problem with being infiltrated and controlled by the villain, Doctor Sun, and attempted to kill its maker:



But in a moment of clarity, H.E.R.B.I.E. sacrificed itself in order to save the Fantastic Four from Sun's attack:




And who could forget ISAAC, the super-computer of Titan, which could assume holographic form but whose analysis was sometimes brutally to the point:



Though leave it to an Earthman, such as Rick Jones, to be more skilled at interacting with an A.I.  Perhaps ISAAC was more cooperative because he was given a cool nickname:



And while it couldn't have been easy being an A.I. to someone on shaky mental ground like the Sentry, Cloc was still loyal and diligently on the job:



Jocasta, the creation of Ultron who would later become an Avenger, shifted her A.I. from a humanoid form to one that not only assisted Tony Stark at one time, but also inhabited the new base of Hank Pym's Mighty Avengers:




Then there's Omnivac, the doting A.I. which controlled the functions of the Leader's orbiting satellite, and which was invaluable to the villain while he was recuperating from an explosion which left him an invalid:




There was never any questioning Omnivac's devotion to this master villain whose goal was to rule the world. And Omnivac obviously wasn't the type of A.I. to wait for a query before chiming in with an opinion:






And while sometimes Omnivac would assume humanoid form, he would still be in service to the Leader. Whether it was to lull foes into a false sense of security:



Or to administer bone-breaking punishment to a rash ally.




Unfortunately, there came a time when the Leader was up against the wall and threw Omnivac's caution to the wind in demanding a quick escape from his foes. Which gave the Leader the unexpected chance to become one with that wind:



According to ground stations not long afterward, there could be heard upbeat selections of Mozart coming over satellite frequencies for some time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...



Open the pod bay doors, HAL.....


The Prowler (needs someone to talk to and someone to sweep the floors incomplete incomplete).

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