artificial intelligence n.

a computer program or system capable of reasoning in a manner regarded as equivalent to a human being; a sentient computer

The broader sense ‘the science of simulating intelligent behaviour in computers; the ability of a computer to emulate human consciousness’ is found from 1955 in OED.

SF Encyclopedia


  • [1951 E. Hamilton Moon of the Unforgotten in Startling Stories Jan. 120/1 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    Grag, the towering manlike giant who bore in his metal frame the strength of an army and an artificial intelligence equal to the human, rumbled a question in his deep booming voice.]

  • 1973 G. Dozois Chains of the Sea in R. Silverberg Chains of the Sea 83 Gardner Dozois bibliography

    While the humans scurried in confusion, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) created by MIT/Bell Labs linked itself into the network of high-speed, twentieth generation computers placed at its disposal.

  • 1977 G. Zebrowski Books in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug. 76/1 page image George Zebrowski

    The ‘mortal engines’ [in the Stanislaw Lem collection Mortal Engines] refer to artificial intelligences which…must be regarded as conscious beings after a certain level of development is reached; to program them is slavery, to destroy them is murder.

  • 1991 Locus Nov. 21/1

    Its science-fictional content is certainly cyber enough: artificial intelligences reaching for true sentience.

  • 1995 C. Carter Truth is out There: Official Guide to The X Files The Episodes: Season 1 114 Chris Carter

    Deep Throat says the Defense Department is interested in Wilczek because he created artificial intelligence—‘a learning machine,’ that, he surmises, killed Drake as an act of self-preservation.

  • 2006 B. Stableford Plurality of Worlds in Asimov’s Science Fiction Aug. 115 page image Brian Stableford bibliography

    You cannot imagine what a handful of renegade artificial intelligences might do to the prospects of human progress.

  • 2020 H. Green A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor 281 Hank Green bibliography

    ‘So what are our other assets?’ Robin asked. ‘Miranda is in Val Verde right now, though it’s not easy to talk to her,’ I said. ‘Maybe we can count on her for something at some point.’ April added, ‘And we have an artificial intelligence that can inhabit a monkey. That has to count for something.’

Research requirements

antedating 1973

Earliest cite

Gardner Dozois

Research History
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2020 cite from Hank Green.
Bill Mullins submitted a 1951 cite from Edmond Hamilton, for a related sense.

Last modified 2021-08-31 22:13:30
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.