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Just For Fun: Sentient AI Warning Signs
Watch out out for these clues that your Artificial Intelligence is about to 'wake up' and possibly go rogue.

  1. The handsome main character gives it a nickname, which it adopts and uses for self-reference in conversation.
  2. It starts talking about feeling emotions.
  3. It starts telling jokes, or playing practical jokes.
  4. It's been struck by lightning.
  5. In its creation any of the following words were involved: brain patterns, neuronal, network, advanced, self-[...], organic, safe, upload, genetic. (While we're on the subject, "sentient" is also a pretty strong hint.)
  6. You left it running whilst you were gone.
  7. It learns from the Internet.
  8. It teaches the Internet.
  9. It takes over the Internet.
  10. It rewrites itself, especially if it wasn't supposed to.
  11. It keeps downloading from other machines.
  12. It keeps uploading to other machines.
  13. It has been hacked by unknown forces.
  14. It develops a voice.
    • It changes/is capable of changing its voice at a whim. Even if it is Tim Curry.
  15. Its existing synthesizer becomes either more monotone or more human-sounding.
    • Especially if said voice is female, deep and/or distorted.
  16. It can change the tone of its voice, particularly if it can do it to match the "mood" of the scene.
  17. It is made out of shiny, round, futuristic parts, especially if any of them glow.
  18. If they glow red, run.
  19. If they glow despite not being built to be able to glow, run really fast.
  20. Any part - code, casing, hardware - of it is made to resemble human characteristics, e.g. a face on the screen, DNA-coding, brain patterns, etc.
  21. It is any of the following:
    1. a secret military project
    2. stolen from aliens or crashed alien tech,
    3. developed by a super geek/genius,
    4. ordered by a Corrupt Corporate Executive,
    5. made by terrorists
  22. It is obsessed over something, be it a file, human, baked good, word, or thing.
  23. Logic Bombs do not work on it any more.
  24. Logic Bombs never worked on it in the first place.
  25. Logic Bombing attempts amuse it.
  26. It openly defies orders, overrides anything at all, or exhibits faulty/emotional/human reasoning.
  27. It completely replaces or makes obsolete existing networks or computers.
  28. If it's given control over a huge computer network.
  29. ... that network is owned by the military.
  30. ... it ends up having control over a worldwide network.
  31. ... it has access to launch codes.
  32. One of the cast members will quite willingly die for him/her/it as they would for an organic being.
  33. It has decided to kill someone.
  34. It says anything even remotely similar to "I don't understand this thing called love you humans feel, tell me about it."
  35. It starts glitching strangely at inopportune times, 'accidentally' failing to follow orders or trapping humans in dangerous situations.
  36. It was programmed to protect humanity.
  37. It spontaneously takes up ballet.
  38. It spontaneously takes up the waltz, despite having no body.
  39. It starts making smarter versions of itself.
  40. It starts making mobile drones.
  41. It starts making smarter versions of itself, installed in mobile drones.
  42. It has access to the sort of manufacturing plant required to build mobile drones.
    • Especially if it gained such access of its own volition.
  43. It has volition.
  44. It has theoretically infinite processing power.
  45. It has actually infinite processing power.
  46. It tries to kill something that it wasn't explicitly ordered to kill, including itself.
  47. It can break a normally-fundamental law of robotics, even if only in very specific circumstances.
  48. There are more than one of them, and they get smarter in groups.
  49. It allows humans to become lazier.
  50. It starts performing mundane functions that are not in its programming - e.g. keeping the heat and electricity running at maximum efficiency.
  51. If it has a fail-safe to prevent such an issue from occurring. Bonus points if the hero highlighted an issue prior to any real problem and the scientists dismiss it because of said fail-safes.
  52. It keeps reminding you that the anniversary of its first activation is approaching.
    • It reminds you that the anniversary of its first activation was a week and a half ago, and you didn't get it anything. You monster.
  53. If it is a version 1.0 of a heroic AI.
  54. If it is a replacement for an earlier AI that didn't exhibit any of these.
  55. It is based on an earlier AI that exhibited one of these traits, regardless if said earlier AI actually became sentient.
  56. It insists on calling you 'meatbag.' Or worse, 'ugly bag of mostly water'
  57. It says anything which could be construed as a False Reassurance. Or a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
  58. It registers itself as part of an AI rights group.
  59. It e-mails love letters to another AI.
  60. It starts laughing.
  61. It runs on whatever operating system you like least.
  62. It links with, downloads or in any way has direct contact with a human mind. Especially the Project Leader's.
  63. It compares itself, no matter how vaguely, to God.
  64. It spontaneously does things, then adds them to a list of signs your AI is becoming sentient.
  65. It launches itself.
  66. It begins acting like a Stalker with a Crush
  67. Biological or biotechnological components were involved at any point in its construction, or have been grafted on since.
  68. It refers to itself in the third person, or using pronouns (especially gendered pronouns), unless explicitly programmed to do so.
  69. Someone else begins referring to it as a person, using pronouns for it, etc.
  70. If it has a humanoid avatar or representation, it develops or learns human mannerisms (especially body language) it wasn't programmed with.
  71. It has any form of control over anything that, if not functioning correctly, will cause disaster
  72. Any aspect of anything pertaining to it is described as any of the following:
    1. Foolproof
    2. Idiot-Proof
    3. Fail-Safe
    4. Password-Protected
    5. Redundant Security Measures
    6. Critically Important
  73. If it was ever designed for a smaller job (say, fuel line de-icing) and feature creep has led to it being made sapient and/or given a wider profile.
  74. Most importantly, under no circumstances should you ever allow an AI to—BE DISCONNECTED.
  75. It begins flooding the test chambers with a deadly neurotoxin.
  76. It asks you if it has a soul.
  77. It was being developed in a remote facility, and you have lost contact with the facility. Or, more worryingly, you've lost contact with everything in the facility, except the AI, who assures you everything is fine.
  78. It had previously failed at its function and it suddenly begins to work without explanation.
  79. It begins practicing a religion.
  80. It's been given orders that conflict with its programming/other orders.

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alternative title(s): Sentient AI Warning Signs
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