After asking about how the Machines would breed humans, one of the answers raises a related issue in the Matrix universe.

People in the Matrix are going to have sex and have children. It's not clear (at least from what I remember) if those in the Matrix are in the first generation of their world, but at some point the people in the Matrix will have children (or they'll notice something is wrong and wonder why babies are no longer born).

After childbirth (within the Matrix) there's a new human in the Matrix. Is this a simulated human? Will another bred baby eventually be hooked up to the Matrix and live out the life of the non-real baby that was just born?

Where does the new baby come from in terms of the illusion of the Matrix and is it always matched with a real human who is in the Machines' power plant/human farm?

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    Oh boy, did nobody have The Talk about bits and bytes with you? :)
    – bitmask
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 6:34

5 Answers 5


I don't really see a problem here. The machines have the real bodies of the humans and can easily (remember all the knowledge they have about the human body) reproduce the in-Matrix intercourse with in vitro fertilization. Although this procedure is never directly shown, it is hinted when Morpheus explains how the breeding facility operates: You see a newborn (or at least very young baby) in a cocoon that is being filled with the nurturing goo all people are lying in.

The Matrix is definitely not populated by first-generation prisoners. When Neo asks why his eyes (or was it his muscles?) hurt, Morpheus says: "Because you have never used them before." (paraphrased) If Neo was a first-generation prisoner he would have used them as child.

If you're still not convinced: Remember how old Zion (i.e. the latest (re-)population) appears to be. I find it very hard to believe that this could have been built by just one (23-person weak) generation!

Somewhere (maybe on this site) I read an approximation of the age of the current Matrix (unfortunately I do not remember where). It was closer to Groundhog-Day dimensions than one generation!

  • IVF seems most likely to me
    – Xantec
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 16:31
  • It's also possible that the machines simply don't go to that level of trouble. Your "children" are subprocesses. The machines periodically breed new humans, probably fiddling with the genetics in much the same way that farmers breed for better livestock, and eventually introduce said people either as young children in place of the child processes or simply as the "neighbor you never noticed".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 15:59
  • IVF is probably what happens, the only thing I can't find an answer to is how the baby 'appears' in the matrix once it is born. Surely the baby would need to have its implants done and it hooked up to the machine before it would be able to interact with the mother inside the matrix. Unless of course the babies are extracted from the mother before birth (ie during labour), to be fitted with implants and installed in its own pod before it comes 'online' and is 'born' in the matrix. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 8:13
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    @Mistagiggles I wouldn't take it for granted that the babies would ever even need to be inside the body of a human female. The artificial womb technology from The Vorkosigan Saga comes to mind - given the pod technology, it is easily possible that the whole reproduction process happens without any human interaction or input post the provision of genetic material.
    – Shisa
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 3:57

Each Matrix iteration (the one depicted in the films being the SIXTH) is destroyed and allowed to be rebuilt. This is done to facilitate the learning process of the machines of human 'irrationality' (i.e., choice- what causes the instability in the Matrix to begin with), primarily through the Oracle, and thus, hopefully, thereby perfecting a program that houses the human mind comfortably, without revolt, 'red pills' or the need to 'reboot' the thing every century (it's approximately a 100-year cycle by most estimates; the year where the films' goings on take place being c.2700).

Now, as for infants created in the Matrix simulation; I suggest when copulation takes place, the machines simply inseminate the host female artificially (while lying in her pod). Then, once the child is born of the enslaved female, it's removed and placed in its own pod where it, too, beings feeding the Machine City its power / living its pseudo existence out in the Matrix simulation.

This is the only way to reconcile it. For, programming a stable artificial world without reproduction would likely be a harder task than the human 'choice' related problems the machines seem unable to surmount to begin with. Much less a world where every newborn is 100% artificial!

Here is a good website for Matrix related musings:
Matrix Re*s*olutions

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    Quote from the Matrix Resolutions website home page: "Note: believe it or not, this website looks far superior when viewed using Microsoft Internet Explorer! It functions in all browsers of course, but when coding this site, I took advantage of a bunch of extra HTML parameters that only MIE supports (other browsers simply ignore them)." That's a fairly strong argument against describing it as a "good website". Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 14:35
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    I thought it was ZION that was destroyed and allowed to be rebuilt, not the Matrix.
    – Monty129
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 15:43
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    -1 In the first movie they show and reference the farms when people are grown. Its part of the duracell reveal.
    – user20155
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 3:24

"There are fields, endless fields where human beings are no longer born. We are grown."

  • The quote does seem to address part of the question, that they are breeding the kids - I guess the other part of the question would be, does it match child to 'parent', or the creation of a child to a person's actions (as reproduction and pregnancy do in real life).
    – Megha
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 10:12
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    Could you cite the origin of this quote?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 11:48
  • it's one of the most (for me) memorable quotes from the first film, when Morpheus is first explaining the Matrix to Neo. Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 15:47

Reproduction can be implemented without extracting sperms and eggs from the real human bodies? Say, the machine gets the DNA sample of everyone right after he or she is "born". After men and women have sex in the Matrix, the machine then matches both sampled DNAs and then plant the embryo in the field? (the machine may has to throw a dice before starting the dirty work to simulate the chance.)

This leaves two issues to be solved:

  1. the process of pregnancy has to be simulated and projected to women RSI in the Matrix
  2. variations between different children from the same pair

Issue 1 has to be solved even if real sperms and eggs were grown.

The question indeed triggers me to think: would the machine simulates humans being infected by germs, virus and parasites? to the machine, it seems the best civilization is a no-disease, more-sex one? (that's why some red pills may choose to go back?)

  • With all the question marks I can't tell if you're answering the question or asking new ones (or both).
    – Null
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 3:34
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    @Null has a point. This seems more like you're asking questions about what could be done than providing an actual answer. This question has an answer already. There's really no point in providing an answer to a question with a selected answer unless your answer provides more information than any other answers.
    – Tango
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 18:11

We know that babies are indeed born and bred by the Machines. However, there is no evidence that they gestate in the females in the chambers.

Likewise, there is no evidence that the people with children in the Matrix have actually had children.

As they explained in the first film, the first iteration of the Matrix was "a paradise", but the humans rejected the simulation, and died by the thousands.

There is a possibility that many of the babies and children in the Matrix are simulated. People "expect" to fall in love, see and have children, etc, so the Matrix simulates those experiences for its inhabitants. Or if they are "real" children, there's no knowing if any one child isn't randomly assigned to a person or couple, having been raised in artificial wombs.

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