69 votes
Accepted

Which Sci-Fi work first showed hostile Artificial Intelligence?

1899: "Moxon's Master", a short story by Ambrose Bierce; first published in the San Francisco Examiner, April 16, 1899; reprinted in the collection Can Such Things Be?, which is available at Project ...
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  • 143k
63 votes

Book about a time-travel war fought by computers

I'd suggest that this is likely to be a somewhat poorly-recalled "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman. This does feature "time travel" although this is related to the difference in relative speeds for ...
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  • 20.6k
57 votes
Accepted

Short story about a slower-than-light interstellar ship carrying the last seeds of humanity

This is "Long Shot", by Vernor Vinge. A brief synopsis from Wikipedia: Description of a voyage from Earth to Alpha Centauri by an automated, AI controlled colony ship. The ship is launched as a "...
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  • 5,165
55 votes
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Why is Data so "unique", anyway?

Why is Data so “unique”? He's an android Your other example is a ship's computer, and they are absolutely huge. This is what the core of Voyager's computer looks like (from Concerning Flight) ...
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  • 5,488
46 votes

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

I remember one novel by Isaac Asimov in which it was revealed, toward the end of the book, that one brilliant scientist had been working hard on a plan to use positronic brains to conquer the other ...
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  • 24.4k
46 votes

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

Genocide of non-humans In Foundation's Edge it's implied that the robots using time travel shenanigans are the reason why humans never meet any aliens in the milky way, only empty planets ready to be ...
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  • 3,583
43 votes
Accepted

Story with robot, distributed computation/AI and paperclip catching

"The Turing Option" by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky seems a good possibility. Mind meets microchip as a brilliant young genius develops a machine capable of spontaneous thought. Before ...
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  • 185k
41 votes
Accepted

Story with a child-like AI being used to control a fusion reactor by being taught that the plasma was broccoli and that it hated it

This is "The Broccoli Factor" (1990) by Timothy Zahn. The story is pretty much as described, the major difference is that JUNIOR (the AI) is at a two-year-old level, not 5. "So what's ...
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  • 79k
37 votes
Accepted

Short story about shutting down old AI at university

This could be "Epoch", a novella by Cory Doctorow. It was originally published in 2009, and deals with an artificial intelligence called BIGMAC. The institute that hosts him wants to turn ...
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36 votes
Accepted

What was the earliest story about an AI takeover before the book "Colossus"?

1909: E.M. Forster: "The Machine Stops". The story is set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs. Most of the human population has lost the ...
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34 votes
Accepted

Book about an AI that traps people on a spaceship

I think this the Asimov robot story "Escape!". The two people are Donovan and Powell, his recurring characters who are field testers for US Robots. From Wikipedia: Powell and Donovan board ...
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31 votes

What is the earliest sci-fi story about humour and AI?

Good likelihood there's an earlier one, but The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert A. Heinlein had a major character in the form of Mike — aka MYCROFT, the central computer of Luna City, which (...
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  • 20.1k
30 votes
Accepted

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

It's important to note that Asimov's robot stories are all separate stories that he wrote for different reasons, that have different themes. Some stories, such as Runaround, emphasize the fallacy of ...
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  • 1,234
30 votes

Which Sci-Fi work first showed hostile Artificial Intelligence?

1818: Frankenstein. Despite Hollywood's changing of the story, in the novel, Victor Frankenstein creates the body from some ambiguous and previously undiscovered new life force. The brain and body ...
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  • 528
29 votes
Accepted

Book or story where humans are genetically engineered to act as AI?

This matches many parts of Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, first book of the Terra Ignota series. First book published in 2016. One faction (the Gordians) has a method of psychological (not ...
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  • 7,815
28 votes

Which Sci-Fi work first showed hostile Artificial Intelligence?

Talus, the Greek's man of brass, is probably the most famous example of an AI. He's an automaton made of Brass although his lineage is unclear. In Appolodorus Atheniensis, it says that "Medea ran him ...
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  • 1,372
27 votes

Is there an in-universe explanation for terminators not knowing about human emotions?

Skynet likes to keep his Terminators d.u.m.b. dumb. When they start learning, they start thinking and when they start thinking, they seem to have a habit of learning about emotions and siding with ...
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  • 608k
27 votes

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

Perhaps not "significant harm to humanity", but the robot in Asimov's short story Liar! causes significant harm to a few humans even though it is trying its best to follow the Three Laws. Because of ...
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  • 20.2k
27 votes

Which Asimov story has malevolent 3-law AI?

. . . That Thou Art Mindful of Him This story was the setting for trying to resolve the issues with the second law, that being "A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such ...
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  • 2,205
26 votes
Accepted

In Ex Machina, can this character survive?

In the original script, Caleb's plan was to simply take her somewhere that they could purchase a compatible induction charging plate, a technology that has presumably become relatively commonplace in ...
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  • 608k
26 votes
Accepted

Looking for a scifi short story about two guys who suspect an AI is taking over the world

Thanks to Valorum challenging my recollection, I managed to find the story, Message Contains No Recognizable Symbols by Bill Hibbard (2007). I was wrong on several accounts. It was 'Episcopalian ...
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  • 521
26 votes
Accepted

Identify this show about an AI shipping company that won't stop

This is Autofac from the anthology TV show Electric Dreams. Society and the world as we know it has collapsed. A massive, automatic factory operates according to the principles of consumerism; humans ...
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  • 608k
25 votes
Accepted

Short story about AI robot who kills all humans except a small group

Likely I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison A mad computer is torturing a small group of humans. One of them eventually takes it upon himself to kill the others with an icicle. I ...
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  • 608k
25 votes
Accepted

Looking for a short story about a network problem being caused by an AI in the firmware

This sounds like "Coding Machines" by Lawrence Kesteloot. It starts with a trio of software developers investigating what appears to be a compiler bug. After a lengthy investigation (which ...
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  • 5,165
24 votes

Story with a child-like AI being used to control a fusion reactor by being taught that the plasma was broccoli and that it hated it

This must surely be "The Broccoli Factor" by Timothy Zahn, first published in Analog in 1990, and later published in Star Song and Other Stories in 2002. The plot essentially goes exactly as ...
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23 votes

Story where an AI becomes self-aware by playing games

Could it possibly be "Ariel" by Jack M. Bickham? "The computer was organized on two basic principles: that artificial intelligence could be derived from high-speed calculations based on a very ...
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  • 608k
23 votes

Short sci-fi story I read in the 1980s: new satellite makes world's computers 'conscious'

This is, of course, the classic "Dial F for Frankenstein" by Arthur C. Clarke. At 0150 Greenwich Mean Time on December 1, 1975, every telephone in the world started to ring. A quarter of a ...
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  • 608k
23 votes
Accepted

Which story involved computers that used humans to avoid being frozen?

This is almost certainly The Beast Adjoins, by Ted Kosmatka. First published in Asimov's Science Fiction, July-August 2020. No synopsis yet on isfdb, but the full story is available directly from ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Nuclear breeder/reactor plant controlled by two A.I. makes too much power

Definitely N.U.K.E.E. by Don Widener (1974)1. "The A.I.s were supposed to be based on 2 famous nuclear scientists. (pretty sure one was supposed to be Madam Curie. The other maybe Einstein or ...
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