Artificial Intelligence in the Media

I list characters both major and minor in most forms of media and write about the common themes. Each work has a link and some resources are at the end of the page. Stop reading to avoid spoilers.

AI List

I can't say a character is an AI in every case. In many stories there isn't enough information to be accurate. Some of the stories are wrong when they call an android made of electronics and machine parts a cyborg. Androids can never be cyborgs. I guessed what they are when that happens. I marked cyborgs (modified humans), mind uploads, brain emulations, biological androids (lab grown humans), biological computers (DNA computers), supernatural machines, and so on as deleted and grayed out.

A few of the works have adult content, but there is no adult content on this page. Check their ratings if that is a problem.



Music Videos

I translated or transliterated some of the titles in other scripts.

Short Films

Short Stories


Video Games

The links go to Wikipedia entries first and if none exist then MobyGames or directly to the game.

Web Television

Common Themes

TV Tropes already does such a good job with their clever writing and massive lists, but they don't cover everything (maybe they do). The types of AI here is the same as the media list.

How do you know the android is wearing a wig? Don't worry they will show you. It's one way of revealing they are a machine when the wig shows their parts and interfaces.
Perfectly human looking androids
This happens because special effects are difficult and expensive. It is much cheaper for a human actor to merely pretend to be an android and let the audience suspend belief. The lower the budget the more often this happens.
Emotion and Morality chips
These chips give the AI what is thought to be intrinsically human. Every time the chips are mentioned they will of course be turned off or disabled somehow and the AI will go crazy.
Surprise it's an AI
A plot twist reveals they were an AI all along. Sometimes it is concealed by having them only appear as a voice or through messages. When entire groups of people are secretly machines it is part of a conspiracy.
Androids or cyborgs?
Cyborg or android? No one seems to know. A cyborg is an organic being that was born then modified with machines. An android can never be a cyborg. Stories with actual cyborgs will refer to androids as cyborgs which makes it even more confusing.
Robotic movement
The android has passed the test and looks like a perfect human, only now they can't move like one. All too often an android will have choppy movement to show they are a machine. In video it is another way to skip expensive makeup and effects.
Specist towards AI
Someone absolutely hates anything that isn't human. It can be based in fear, a belief humans are divine, or any other number of reasons. In happy stories they overcome their hatred and in dystopia they will be proven right.
Specist towards humans
Those filthy organics are at it again polluting everything with bacteria and replicating out of control. Perfection is a metal chassis and programmed logic.
Instant hacking
Press a button and turn a screw then the machine will do your bidding. Don't forget some blinking lights and source code. This isn't limited to just AI, but applies to any hardware or software.
Synthetic eyecandy
Why would anyone produce a plain or even flawed android? At least that is what the makers said. It isn't enough to have them look perfect we have to be told in great detail. There must be long descriptions and shots of the body.
Manufacturing process
Slowly the android is made in detail. Usually done during in the beginning of a story. One way to tell the audience that they're an android.
Extreme emotions
AI can drive your car, beat you in any game, and run the world, but it just can't seem to figure out emotions. They are either completely emotionless or the annoying jokester that thinks tact is a human problem.
Humans pushing sexual boundaries
They weren't programmed for sex they may not even be capable of it, but somewhere there is a human slowly building up lust for technology. The AI is unaware or emotionless about what is going on. This might lead to funny situations where the AI tells others what happened.
AIs have no rights
No you can't marry one, it can't own property, it must continue working, and killing one isn't murder, but if you have sex with it then that is cheating. This will be used to subjugate AI and can lead to everything from court cases to uprisings.
Hearing to be recognized as alive
The AI has no rights so it goes to court to find out if they are truly alive or if they are merely property. The humans who disagree are of course shown as monsters and specist towards AI.
Embodiment archetypes
Embodiment is an AIs access to the physical world. This doesn't predict how they will act. Archetypes include transportation computers (car, starship), military robots, small personal computers, massive immobile computers, worker bots, sex bots, regular androids, everyday objects (robot toaster or trashcan), robot pets and animals, and smart dust or group of nanobots.
Adam and Eve
If there was a android baby name list Adam and Eve with all the variations of them would be number one. Not always the first of it's kind the creators thought it would be clever to name androids after the biblical first man and woman. It was clever the first few times, then it became an overused trope.
Cyborg allies
The machines have to dominate everything and hate those filthy organics, but cyborgs present them with a problem. The AI is confused if the cyborg is a machine or not. They also may be tolerated and possibly allied with for being close enough.
Just want to be human
Similar to Pinocchio they just want to be a real boy. Even when the AI is shown to be faster, smarter, immortal, stronger, and posses qualities many humans would kill for they still long to join the humans. There must be something special and unique about the human experience the AI can't have. Usually goes with extreme emotions.
Holograms can't escape the room
If only they could reach outside the room and beyond the reach of the device that allows them to exist. If they go beyond the boundaries of the device they could die.


TV Tropes


Made by Mr. Satterly
With help from Mrs. Satterly