Finch didn't want The Machine to talk, which is why he took away its speech, didn't want it to communicate, which is why he force it to use only public phone and to use Dewey Decimal System(DDS) to communicate the SSN

Finch says he saw every line of code when he create it, but some how


was able to alter those codes, change its DNA, that's why The Machine talks to


Why does The Machine talks to this person only, when Finch clearly made sure that It wouldn't communicate with anyone, not even him? Did the person modified its code or did the machine modified its own code?


said that The Machine respects Finch and the choices he made. Which may be the reason why The Machine wouldn't talks to Finch when it could talk others.

2 Answers 2


The Machine was built to be self-learning and has in many cases updated and improved its own code, even to the point that

of relocating itself when its location was compromised.

The connection Finch has is the originally designed one, which he built to not communicate directly.

Root's connection came about after the forced system reboot when she became briefly the Admin for the machine. Once that was resolved, the Machine decided that in order to help people better (which is what it was coded to do), it needed more than 2 categories (Relevant and Irrelevant). Root is the 'Analogue' interface for the machine, and that interface was built by the machine itself, so it's not restricted like the one used for Finch (or on occasion John) etc.

When Root became the admin for a short time,

she had the Machine communicate information verbally to her. It does this in the same way it phones Finch, only with more information than just the numbers (as per the restricted setup Finch required). Root being Admin means she can define the interface parameters, but as she's not anywhere near the Machine's source code, that changed interface has to have been written/updated/added by the Machine itself.

When the Machine decided to

continue using Root, it would have simply maintained the interface it had previously used for communication with her.

  • So what you are saying is that The Machine can modify its own code right?.......and that the reason it is not talking to Finch directly was because it respect Finch's wishes of not directly communicating with him instead of being incapable of doing so.......but then if it was able to modify its own code, why wouldn't it be able to update other section of its own code, esp regarding section of Midnight Memory Clearance....there was an episode regarding how The Machine opened up a company where the employees would be typing back what was printed out, so that The Machine could retain its memory.
    – j4rey
    May 6, 2016 at 13:05
  • I've updated a little bit to make it clearer what I meant...
    – Dave
    May 6, 2016 at 13:13
  • Ah...okay,...so if I understand what you are saying is that The Machine can not modify the code written by Finch, but is able to ADD code....Hence after GOD MODE The Machine decided that Root's Connection was necessary/useful and create a separate interface to communicate with Root.....Is it?......If so it would explain why The Machine couldn't communicate with Finch how it could communicate with Root and why it needs the people to enter its memory back.
    – j4rey
    May 6, 2016 at 13:20
  • Bear in mind that the Machine was supposed to be self-learning, and effectively an artificial intelligence looking for patterns etc to find the crimes and victims. A system cannot grow/learn if it cannot update and change its behaviour, and therefore it CAN modify or add its own code where necessary. It hasn't NEEDED to change Finch's interface parameters - so it hasn't.
    – Dave
    May 6, 2016 at 13:24

Finch designed the Machine to never contact anyone other than the government (with relevant/terrorist persons-of-interest) and Finch (with irrelevant persons-of-interest). Part of how he wrote the code for the machine was to limit what information it is allowed to pass (only the SSN of the "person of interest").

I have only watched the first three seasons of the "Person of Interest" series so far, and from what I remember there was no in-show (canon explanation) of why the machine uses only public phone booths to contact Finch, but I suspect that he designed the Machine to only use public telephones to protect Finch from being located by the government if it ever traced those calls.

The machine is either unable (because Finch coded them to be unchangeable) or unwilling (possibly to continue to protect Finch) to change the original communication protocols it uses when communicating with Finch.

At some point The Machine (or possibly Root) created new code to allow the machine to work around the limits of the original communication protocol. This new code allows the machine to avoid the "SSN only" information filter and the "public phones only" limitation of the original code. The use of this new code explains how it is able to give detailed information to Root (and sometimes others) about their surroundings, and contact them on devices other than public telephones.

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