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This question covers why Starfleet isn't terribly keen on intelligent starships (M-5 being a prominent example), and why there hasn't been much in the way of advances in the field, in-canon.

However, I'm curious about the expanded universe. Do any expanded universe works feature the development of intelligent starships, or starships that develop their own intelligence? In particular, do any of them feature a Starfleet starship with advanced AI capable of independent action and thought? Especially, ships developed past the end of TV and Movie canon, or that develop their intelligence past that point in time.

  • Are you ignoring the M-5 Computer test seen in TOS: "The Ultimate Computer"? – Valorum May 7 '14 at 20:26
  • @Richard See: Starfleet isn't terribly keen on intelligent starships. M-5 perhaps being the most prominent example of all. However, I should clarify that if the M-5 makes an appearance in an expanded univrerse work, I would probably count it, though I'm really looking for future starships. – Zibbobz May 7 '14 at 20:31
  • Starships aren't TARDIS. Unlike TARDIS, Starships are built, not grown. – Baby Yoda May 7 '14 at 20:45
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    One sorta example I can think of would be the USS Galen. While it isn't run by the computer directly, most of the crew is holographic, including The Doctor. – Compro01 May 7 '14 at 21:21
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    Oof...those are tough ones. The Gel Packs I don't think I'd count, but the holo-crew is right on the verge, because technically they ARE all an extension of the ship...but I'll have to say no, because they're all separate entities on the ship. None of them would identify themselves as that specific ship, they're still crew members, they just happen to be holo-generated crew members. – Zibbobz May 8 '14 at 0:13
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Yes one recent example is SecondGen White-Blue a Sentry . Their species of living technology is encountered in the Titan's expedition into the beta quadrant. When Titan encounters the Sentry's civilization it is revealed that every modern Starfleet ship could become sentient. Titan does become alive as well.

There is also the living civilization/ships/galaxies of The Body Electric an organism so powerful it scares the Travelers but not ever brave Mr. Crusher. In the book titled the Body Electric there are AI's of various types one of which is a ship.

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