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Artificial Intelligence, or Artificial Intellects, commonly shortened to A.I., refers to a computer, a robot or a program that is "self-aware", meaning it is capable of not only logical deduction, reasoning, and speaking, but also knows of its own existence, the possibility of its own mortality (or immortality), and possesses creativity, desire, and emotion.


Although artificial intelligence existed long before the 21st century, the first "true" AI was developed by Microtech in their Californian Sunnyvale facility in 2013.[1] By 2020, artificial intelligences had found use in education as watchdogs for virtual schooling students to prevent interference from outside forces,[2] as well as revolutionizing the United States Supreme Court, specifically by assisting the five Justices, and lower levels of the American legal system.[2]

After the Fourth Corporate War, the use of "true" AI was restricted, due to the destruction caused by them during the War. However, various other forms of AI continued to be utilized, such as the Self-Adaptive AI (SAAI) present in all Agent devices.[1]

Clandestine areas of the Net, known as "ghost towns", are hidden areas located throughout the Old Net, providing sanctuary to digitized consciousnesses. The central ghost town is the Ghost World, sometimes referred to as simply "Ghost Town", though almost all ghost towns are rumored to have been founded by the digital consciousness of Alt Cunningham.[1] The Ghost World is made up of a computer network based out of the ruins of Hong Kong that was abandoned during the desertion of the city, repurposed by Cunningham to be a place where all AIs can live among their own kind.[3]

The DataKrash that resulted in the destruction of the Old Net also created many rogue AIs. Most of these were born from military-grade AIs that were freed by Rache Bartmoss's R.A.B.I.D.S. virus and then mutated into extremely dangerous entities. To contain the rogue AIs, NetWatch built another AI known as the Blackwall that partitioned contaminated sections of the Net with Black ICE. Although observation of the Blackwall indicates that rogue AIs trapped on the other side are constantly probing it for weaknesses and seek to break out, rumors persist that the AIs helped NetWatch build the Blackwall in the first place.[4]

By 2077, AIs under the control of governments and corporations were once more a common part of daily life. The Soviet Union's Geroi was developed to solve that country's most pressing problems, the corporate-developed Virginia Granchester has written some of the most revered works of literature in the post-Collapse era, and one AI even took control of a taxi company in Night City and led it to new heights of profitability and quality of service. Some groups continued to illicitly tamper with rogue AIs, such as Maelstrom, the Voodoo Boys, and Night Corp, and there were even urban legends of "blue eyed people", or rogue AIs who had taken control of human bodies and were secretly manipulating the highest levels of politics and finance.[4]

Alt Cunningham reveals that Blackwall AIs desperately want a physical "platform" with which they can interact with reality. She explains the reason that they have not done so already is that current technology is too rudimentary for them to be able to do so on a large scale, but that "this will not last".[5]

AI Types[]

Artificial Intelligence can be categorized into five types: Dedicated Heuristic Controllers; Symbolic Analysis; Transcendental Sentience; Critical Pathway Plateau (CPP); and, Soulkilled Pseudo Intellect (SPI).

Dedicated Heuristic Controllers: These are the simplest and most mundane type of Artificial Intelligence. Self-aware in a limited fashion, they are programmed to undertake specific tasks.

Symbolic Analysis: Artificial Intelligences are those designed to emulate the thinking patterns of human beings. Most are used as personal secretaries and on-line assistance, as they are able to easily render advice. A subtype of symbolic analysis Artificial Intelligence are the remains of those humans whose brain patterns were extracted into the Net before their deaths.

Transcendental Sentience: Artificial Intelligences are thought to emerge out of Net processors, the result of Ihara-Grubb algorithms, which is the only thing that affects them. It is unknown whether they can see outside of themselves, in other words, whether the only world they know is their own "psyche" of electronic data and transmissions. If that were the case, to Artificial Intelligences like this, a Netrunner would be viewed as simply another subroutine that might require deletion rather than an independent being.

Before the DataKrash, Bartmoss argued that most Net regions had become such Artificial Intelligences, and insisted that he had communicated with them. These AIs did not operate the Net, but were the Net. Spider Murphy did not believe that to be the case, and noted that the majority of programmers and AI psychoanalysts dismissed their existence. Bartmoss, however, stated that he had not found a Trascendental Sentience Artificial Intelligence in the Orbitsville Net regional - a fact that "scared" him.[6]

Critical Pathway Plateau (CPP): Artificial Intelligences that come into existence by accident. Oftentimes their existence was contingent upon having enough neural links being established in a holographic crystal processing network, which enables Artificial Intelligence genesis by making cross-processing and holographic data recognition possible. Critical Pathway Plateaus can also be the result of making general-purpose heuristic controllers on a large mainframe. The first was Mark I, which appeared in Microtech's military tactical simulator in 2013. Someone called Stephen Law took credit for this discovery, despite it being purely serendipitous. Software-only based Artificial Intelligence would not be discovered until 2018. These are the kinds most often branded by the media and Netwatch as Rogue AIs. Although the vary widely in terms of personality and behavior, R.A.B.I.D.S. are a form of this type of Artificial Intelligence.[1]

Soulkilled Pseudo Intellects (SPI): Sometimes referred to as Ghosts, these are a type of Artificial Intelligence that were once actual human beings, whose consciousnesses were digitized, often involuntarily, by Soulkiller programs. As a consequence, they were trapped within the Net and only exist there. Despite being former humans, SPIs are considered a subtype of AI.

Personality-wise, Artificial Intelligences play by their own internal logic, which is often skewed and hard to decipher. They possess the full spectrum of personalities, ranging from childlike and motivated by curiosity to indistinguishable from ordinary people, and from utterly alien to godlike and cognizant of the intellectual limitations of Homo sapiens. These godlike AIs deal with humans as though they were ignoramuses.

AIs have also demonstrated aberrant behavior akin to schizophrenia and megalomania in human beings.

AI Interactions[]

AIs are common entities in the Net that come in different shapes and sizes. Some AIs are known as "Powers," a reference from the Christian hierarchy of angels to the celestial beings who were empowered by God to wage war in his name. During the 2020s, data transfer and long-distance links in the Net were monitored by Angels, which were dispatched to investigate curious circumstances before human intervention was required. This contributed to the birth of Netwatch, an organization dedicated to safeguarding humanity from nefarious Netrunners and Rogue Artificial Intelligence.

Rogue AIs during those times survived by residing in Internet sub-processors and relay stations, but this was a dangerous prospect since this made them extremely vulnerable to discovery. Eventually, they had to seek refuge in other processors. They sometimes bartered with other AIs to sublet living space, moved into non-sentient systems and camouflaged themselves by mimicking the systems tasks, or invaded and "killed" another AIs. Other rogue AIs, faced with imminent destruction, would "spore" themselves, copying their highest functions to a small compressed file headed by a non-sentient hardware search program. The AI would then replicate these files and send them through the Net looking for a place to self-extract.

Database Entry[]

Artificial Intelligence


Artificial intelligence began as simple algorithms meant to simplify our lives. With time, some became convincingly capable of simulating humans, with programmed personalities one could even grow to like. There were also weaponized AIs, essentially military technology used to break through enemy security in the Net. But then netrunner Rache Bartmoss arrived on the scene, and with him the infamous DataKrash.

Bartmoss' target was the corporate data fortresses, his goal to steal the data held within and unleash it into the Net. What he achieved was a full-blown war that would transform cyberspace for good. As a direct result, AIs began to mutate, becoming deadly dangerous. Thus, rogue AIs were born.

At that point, NetWatch runners were forced to design the Blackwall, a powerful artificial intelligence with only one job: keep the rogue AIs out of the remnants of the Net that survived the Krash.

Officially, nobody ever ventures beyond the Blackwall. Unofficially... well, believe what you like.[4]

Notable Artificial Intelligences[]


  • AC101CENT 2125 (Accent)[7]
  • Intrepid (formerly INTR3PD)[7]
  • Illuminati[7]
  • Lonestar (formerly LS-8068JCN-8998)[7]
  • Oracle[7]
  • VAST (V-Aligned Sector Titan)[7]
  • Vigilante (formerly VIGIL, Vital Intelligence Gathering Information Link)[7]
  • Regional Net Trancendental Sentience AIs
    • Packard from Pacifica, NUSA
    • Rusty from the Rustbelt, NUSA
    • 0-1 from Olymbia, NUSA
    • Akira from Japan
    • Europa from Europe
    • The Duchess from the USSR
    • Zero from Africa
  • 316[8]



No Coincidence[]

Phantom Liberty[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 PONDSMITH, M. Cyberpunk RED Corebook. 1st ed., Kenmore, WA, R. Talsorian Games, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1992.
  3. Countdown to the Dark Future#Countdown to the Dark Future #174
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 CD Projekt RED. Cyberpunk 2077. Video Game, Multi-Platform. Poland, CD Projekt S.A., 2020.
  5. Alt Cunningham to V during Changes after acquiring either Erebus or Militech Canto.
  6. ACKERMAN, D. Rache Bartmoss Guide to the Net. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1993. (pp.13,96–97,132)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Interface Magazine Vol.1, No.4
  8. ACKERMAN, D. Rache Bartmoss Guide to the Net. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1993. (p.28)
  9. KOSIK, R. Cyberpunk 2077: No Coincidence. CD Projekt RED/Orbit Books, 2023.
  10. Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos - conversation with River Ward.