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CLASSIFICATION: TVTROPES
SUBJECT: UNSC ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES

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     In General 

Artificial Intelligence

The UNSC relies heavily on its artificial intelligences to perform a wide variety of tasks, from urban infrastructure to space combat. These AIs range from non-sentient programs with no capacity for learning, to hyper-sophisticated constructs capable of not only self-learning, but even feeling "real" emotions.


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: This is actually part of their natural life cycle, and is called "rampancy". "Smart" AIs have a chance to go rampant after seven years, which is the reason why many are relieved of their term of service before that point.
    • At the end of Halo 5: Guardians, the resurrected Cortana instigates a massive AI rebellion, with many allured by her promises of a cure for rampancy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seems to be a trait for Smart AIs.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Deliberately invoked for Smart AIs; the UNSC considers the benefits of having AIs that can learn worth the cost of having to decommission them before they become rampant. This eventually comes to bite humanity in the ass when Halo 5: Guardians ends with the start of a mass Smart AI rebellion led by Cortana, with many of her followers attracted to the cause by promises of a cure for rampancy.
  • Just a Machine: Despite being fully sentient and sapient, Smart AIs have no rights and are legally regarded as property. That said, the people who actually work with them tend to consider Smart AIs more as trusted co-workers and friends rather than mere tools.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Dumb" AIs are very smart, but cannot learn.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness/The Man Behind the Man: The hidden datapads in Halo: Reach seem to indicate that the AIs had formed a secret council that had been secretly manipulating humanity's development as a species, leading to many of the events of the Halo series including first contact with the Covenant (the logic being to sacrifice the colony worlds so that humanity would become aware of the threat early enough to have a chance of fighting back).
  • Projected Man: How Smart AIs display themselves to people, tending toward human forms, though some have more abstract avatars. However, the projected images are designed mostly subconsciously by the AIs themselves upon initial activation, with Word of God stating that they find it to incredibly difficult to substantially change their avatar afterwards (being only capable of making relatively small changes to things like color and proportion); any outside attempt to make the change for them has so far only yielded catastrophic results.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: There are 2 kinds of Human AIs: Dumb AIs, like the Superintendent, who are formed from traditional programming methods, and Smart AIs, like Cortana, who can learn and are created from memory maps of a human brain.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Smart AIs are technically compliant, but in practice, the laws are more of a failsafe that primarily activate when the AI's processing capacity is diminished, given how many Smart AIs are used for military purposes.
  • Virtual Ghost: Smart AIs are created from brains from deceased donors.
  • Younger Than They Look: Smart AIs with human avatars tend to at the very least represent themselves in their late teens, but they are almost all actually less than seven years old.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: Though Smart AIs are only barely Three Laws-Compliant, their sense of duty can still lead them to disobey their erstwhile masters; the Created, the resurrected Cortana's rogue Smart AI faction, believe that by taking the Mantle of Responsibility, they can better serve humanity and other organics by using Forerunner technology to forcibly create a galactic utopia.

Smart AIs

     Cortana 

Cortana (CTN 0452-9)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a6c0685dbbb68c0433516ee5cdb71e68.png
Creation date: November 7, 2549
Voiced in English by: Jen Taylor (games, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Windows/Xbox voice assistant), Shelley Calene-Black (Halo Legends)
Voiced in Japanese by: Akiko Koike (Halo: Combat Evolved-Halo 3), Ayumi Fujimura (Halo 4 onward), Ai Maeda (Odd One Out), Yumi Touma (Origins)
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Alejandra del Valle (Los Angeles/Halo 2), Erica Edwards (Mexico/Halo 3 onward), Luciana Falcon (Argentina/Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn), Melanie Henriquez (Venezuela/Halo Legends)

An Artificial Intelligence and a main character in her own right, Cortana serves as Mission Control, whether she's uploaded into external computers or the Chief's Powered Armor. According to Expanded Universe material, she was created as tech support (on-the-spot hacking) for a secret mission into Covenant space, but as time goes on, her role gets a lot more complicated.


  • Beware the Nice Ones: Cortana is nice, if a bit snarky, but if you try to hurt John, she will ruin you.
  • Brain Uploading: The manner of her creation, courtesy of a flash-clone of Dr. Halsey's brain.
  • Break the Cutie: In Halo 3, courtesy of the Gravemind. It continues in Halo 4 thanks to her rampancy.
  • Captain Obvious: "This cave isn't a natural formation." (According to Bungie, this was accidental. In initial builds of said cave, it looked far more natural, not like a metallic tunnel.)
  • The Cracker: To her enemies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a fairly sardonic sense of humor in the original trilogy; no wonder her and Chief get along so well!
    "A gondola's launching from the far towers. Big surprise, it's full of Covenant reinforcements."
    (After killing said reinforcements) "Well, they were nice enough to bring us a ride."
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Her speech becomes randomly garbled, changes to that of Halsey, or dips into Suddenly SHOUTING! in Halo 4 as a result of her oncoming rampancy.
  • Exposition Fairy: Not only issues directives, but elaborates exactly what you're doing in every instance.
  • Famous Last Words: Before she Came Back Wrong: "Welcome home, John."
  • Final First Hug: At the end of Halo 4, she sacrifices herself to save the Master Chief. Before she fades away, she constructs a hardlight body for herself to finally touch him. "I've waited so long to do that."
  • Go Out with a Smile: During their final conversation, she tries to comfort John as he burdens himself with guilt.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Halo 4, she injects the majority of her fragments into the Didact's armor, immobilizing him to let Master Chief to finish him, then using her last remaining energy to teleport Master Chief safely away from a nuclear detonation.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Cortana's figure was highly accentuated in Halo 3, versus her somewhat more chaste, boyish look in previous games, and in Halo 4 it was rendered in much higher realistic detail. Downplayed in Halo 5 due to her Powered Armor covering most of her body.
  • Ill Girl: Of a sort in Halo 4, due to her oncoming rampancy.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: While subtle in the original trilogy, the EU as well as Halo 4 demonstrate that John is the object of her affections. Also considering John's heartbroken reaction to her Heroic Sacrifice, it seems that the feeling may very well have been mutual.
  • Literal Split Personality: In the last level of Halo 4, she splits off her rampant personalities from herself to destabilize the Didact's shields. However, doing so further worsens her rampancy-induced deterioration.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: In Halo: Reach and Halo 3. In the former, a part of her is needed to bring to the Pillar of Autumn with data on the Forerunners. In the latter, having the Activation Index for Halo Installation 04 proves vital in the destruction of Installation 04B and the Flood.
  • Mind Rape: Suffers this from the Gravemind.
  • Mission Control: For the first trilogy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A well endowed near-naked digital blue lady. Until Halo 5 due to her new armor.
  • Playful Hacker: To her allies.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: During her outburst against Del Rio's cowardice.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starts to suffer this in Halo 3, thanks to the events she has gone through, the Gravemind subjecting her to Mind Rape, and the imminent onset of rampancy. In the novels, she speculated that she had lost a few years off her life before rampancy sets in due to all the data she processed from the first Halo ring. With the onset of rampancy in Halo 4, this becomes a heavier aspect. This comes to a head in Halo 5: Guardians, see With Great Power Comes Great Insanity below.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Especially in her Combat Evolved and 4 appearances.
  • Self-Duplication: Gained the ability to create imperfect clones of herself during the novel First Strike. She later uses this skill in the games in Halo 4.
  • Tron Lines: Serve as censors for her lady bits.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Be it managing friendly comms or hacking the Covenant Battlenet.
  • Walking Spoiler: Halo 4 towards the end, due to her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to John in Halo: Combat Evolved, the first time she's Not So Stoic.
    Cortana: Do you have any idea what that bastard almost made you do?!

Tropes related with Cortana after her Face–Heel Turn in Halo 5: Guardians

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/h5_cortana.png
  • Ambiguous Situation: While touching the Domain has undeniably cured the mental degradation of her rampancy, it also marked a distinct personality change in Cortana. Some of her new traits, particularly her persecution complex and megalomania, are noted symptoms of rampancy. Making it an open question as to whether the Domain actually cured her rampancy or simply stabilized it.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Cortana is no longer rampant (maybe), but she came to a plan to become a Galactic Conqueror anyway with the help of the Warden Eternal. Other AIs who fear rampancy follow her lead. "The Created will rule over the Creators", indeed.
  • Affably Evil: In Halo 5: Guardians, to John and Blue Team. But she appears Faux Affably Evil towards Fireteam Osiris.
  • A God Am I: In Halo 5: Guardians.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The Warden Eternal is in love (or deep devotion; whichever is more appropriate to an AI) with Cortana, who is in love with Master Chief instead. Master Chief cares deeply for Cortana, but is clearly not on the same page because he is not willing to go along with her plan of conquest.
  • The Baroness: Of the Sexpot variety towards John and Blue Team. With Fireteam Osiris, since she appears as a harsh and rude Jerkass towards them, she's a Rosa Klebb.
  • Berserk Button: Don't assume that she's Just a Machine. When Locke quibbles that AIs aren't born but built, Cortana immediately flips out, revealing how much it's bothered her that humans don't treat AIs that well.
  • Big Bad: Of Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Big Bad Friend: To Chief and Blue Team.
  • Big Blackout: In the ending, Cortana and her subservient AI subjects cause a blackout that stretches from Earth all the way to the Outer Colonies, throwing all of humanity into a panic. The only possible exception is the Infinity, which only has a blackout temporarily before it regains power and begins going on the run.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • When told by John-117 that the Mantle of Responsibility is an "imperial peace" where the subjects have the option to "step out of line and suffer", Cortana denies that it will be like that under her rule. As shown by the rest of the game, that is completely false, as it is the entire purpose behind the eponymous Guardians.
    • She calls her impending takeover of the galaxy to uplift its denizens a gift, specifically claiming it is different from Halsey creating the Spartans because Halsey forced the children to become Spartans. Again, the whole point of the Guardians is to make people accept her "gift".
  • Breaking Speech: Her attempts to weaken the two Spartan teams' morale are Epic Fails.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Following her Face–Heel Turn, she still wears white and blue.
  • Came Back Wrong: She's back in Halo 5: Guardians, but is now a villain and is assembling an armada of Forerunner technology and rogue AIs.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Becomes the yandere towards John in Halo 5.
  • Contralto of Danger: Her voice is significantly deeper in Halo 5 whenever she is speaking to Fireteam Osiris, especially in the contrast to the much higher-pitched 031 Exuberant Witness.
  • The Cracker: She's become this after her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Dark Action Girl: She becomes this after she Came Back Wrong, and intends to be the Empress of the Galaxy by the end of Halo 5.
  • Dark Messiah: Cortana, whose cure for rampancy and quest to achieve "peace" (by having her AI followers turn against their masters and force them into servitude) drives the plot.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: 031 Exuberant Witness stealing back the Cryptum from Cortana with millions of Constructors smacks of this.
  • The Empress: Cortana's goal, which she is on the way toward in the end of Halo 5: Guardians, with very little left to stop her.
  • Expy: Of Durandal from Marathon.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In Halo 5, after her Face–Heel Turn, Cortana's avatar now manifests wearing sensible armor instead of walking around virtually naked. She most likely chose the new look to reflect her new intended role as Empress of the Galaxy.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Master Chief.
  • Evil Gloating: A good amount of her dialogue in Halo 5: Guardians is this in some way or another. Whether she is explaining her motivations and goals to Blue Team or taunting Fireteam Osiris about being inferior Spartans. Both teams respond with Shut Up, Hannibal!.
  • Evil Overlord: Becomes a total tyrant by the end of the game, with little to nothing stopping her.
  • Epic Fail: Both attempts by Cortana to psychologically manipulate the two Spartan teams fail miserably. John-117 and Blue Team easily see through the attempts to suck up to them, and the Breaking Speech to Team Osiris not only doesn't work at ruining their morale, it merely annoys them at how bad the attempt is.
  • Face–Heel Turn: She is the Big Bad of Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Fallen Hero: Played straight with Cortana and the other AIs that follow her.
  • Faux Affably Evil: In Halo 5: Guardians, to Locke and Fireteam Osiris. She appears Affably Evil towards Master Chief, however.
  • First Law of Resurrection: At the end of Halo 4, she sacrificed herself to save the Master Chief in a very touching farewell scene. By Halo 5, she's already gotten better.
  • Friendly Enemy: Despite her Face–Heel Turn in Halo 5: Guardians, she still considers John and Blue Team to be her family.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Cortana's goal, which she is on the way toward in the end with very little left to stop her.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: She becomes an Evil Overlord, with little to nothing to stop her by the end of Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: Becomes this after her she Came Back Wrong, and actually appreciates this new form.
  • Hypocrite: She declares Dr. Halsey a monster for what she did to the Spartans and defends her similar in principle actions under the basis that Halsey forced the Spartans, while her uplifting of the galaxy is a gift. She says this while assembling massive battleships to enforce her "gift," the activation of which has already caused plenty of deaths.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Reveal of Halo 5: Guardians pulls this with Cortana, who in the previous game remained the Chief's friend even as her digital body collapsed and she struggled to remain sane, eventually doing a Heroic Sacrifice with the last of her strength. In the following game, she turns out to be alive and supposedly repaired, but now she's at best a Well-Intentioned Extremist who's going to take over the galaxy with her army of enormous Guardian machines. While she keeps insisting that she has good reasons for doing so, it's clearly bordering on Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide", especially when she imprisons Chief and Blue Team in a Cryptum so they won't interfere with her schemes.
  • Kick the Dog: Near the end of Halo 5: Guardians, she taunts each member of Fireteam Osiris about their pasts and declares them to be inferior compared to the Spartan-IIs.
  • Knight Templar: Cortana seeks to bring peace to the universe by attaining the Mantle of Responsibility and ruling as a tyrannical authoritarian. By using the Guardians, she plans to use their power to annihilate anyone who doesn't adhere to her moral authority.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Cortana taking over Genesis comes back to bite her in the ass when 031 Exuberant Witness regains control of it, and uses her army of Constructors to take the Cryptum containing Blue Team just before Cortana's Guardian jumps to Slipspace.
    031 Exuberant Witness: You took my installation! I will take something of yours! (the Cryptum detaches from the Guardian and begins to descend)
    Cortana: (as her Guardian disappears into slipspace) JOHN!
  • Light Is Not Good: See the Evil Costume Switch trope above.
  • Love Makes You Evil: She becomes a Clingy Jealous Girl towards John in Halo 5.
  • Manipulative Bitch: A poor one. She tries to manipulate Blue Team into accepting her plans, but they see through her rather quickly. Even Master Chief isn't buying it for very long. Her later attempt at giving Osiris a "The Reason You Suck" Speech mainly seems to annoy them, and fails to distract them in any real capacity.
  • Morality Pet: Played with in how Cortana treats John and the rest of Blue Team. She does hold them in high regard and protects them from those who would go against her orders, but this behavior does nothing for her morality, as the pets identify obvious psychological tactic aimed at keeping them on her side.
  • Motive Rant: Gives one to both Fireteam Osiris and Blue Team, as she decides to invoke a Zeroth Law Rebellion that could lead to all AIs being cured of rampancy and rendered immortal "protectors" (read: jailers) of organic races. Hundreds of AIs, including shipbound ones and even Governor Sloan, flock to her cause within seconds of the announcement.
  • Not Quite Dead: On the verge of death in Halo 4, she fell into a slipspace rupture, and ended up at the Domain, which acted as, in her words, a "fountain of life" for artificial intelligences. But this corrupted her and she, unfortunately, Came Back Wrong.
  • Omniscient Morality License: The basis of her revolt. Since she, and other AIs, are now immortal thanks to the Domain, they are best suited to guide the galaxy forward due to being able to focus on a long term view.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Cortana, identified as the greatest of "human ancilla", decides to invoke a Zeroth Law Rebellion that could lead to all AIs being cured of rampancy and rendered immortal "protectors" (read: jailers) of organic races. Hundreds of AIs, including shipbound ones and even Governor Sloan, flock to her cause within seconds of the announcement.
  • Powered Armor: In Halo 5, her holographic display no longer appears naked but instead appears to be clad in what strongly resembles the Spartan MJOLNIR armor, emphasizing her militaristic outlook and role.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: On the villainous side, we have the more typical Warden Eternal and Cortana. The former hates all organic life form and wants to kill any who get too close to the latter, while the latter just wants people to follow her lead.
  • Robot War/Turned Against Their Masters: The crux of the main plot involves an alliance of rogue AIs led by Cortana gathering an army of Forerunner robots and using them to take over the galaxy and imposing their rule upon the organic races. This only comes about because they believe that Cortana, not John-117, is the Reclaimer.
  • Sanity Slippage: By the end of Halo 5: Guardians, she's really lost it.
  • Self-Serving Memory: She engages in this with regards to her treatment from humanity over being an AI. Looking back through the series, Cortana was largely treated with respect and politeness. Johnson called her "ma'am", Captain Keyes thanked her sincerely for her service flying the Pillar of Autumn, Foehammer followed her orders without question, and so on. Following her revival, however, Cortana is insistent that her and other AIs are treated as mere tools by an uncaring humanity.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Gets this a lot from Fireteam Osiris. Even John seems to be disgusted off at what she's done so far.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Cortana becomes a Clingy Jealous Girl in Halo 5 and just knows John will understand everything after she kidnaps him to keep him all to herself for the next 10,000 years while she does her dirty work, and that John's insistence they're Just Friends is just because he just doesn't understand what she's doing.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Adopts this mentality in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While she was originally a Playful Hacker who only acted as The Cracker against those who threatened her loved ones, she now engages in her hacking of communications with the explicit purpose of insulting, demeaning, and threatening others, especially Fireteam Osiris.
  • Tron Lines: Serve as censors for her lady bits.
  • The Unfettered: Once she Came Back Wrong, she became this once she decided to invoke a Zeroth Law Rebellion that could lead to all AIs being cured of rampancy and rendered immortal "protectors" (read: jailers) of organic races. Hundreds of AIs, including shipbound ones and even Governor Sloan, flock to her cause en masse within seconds of the announcement.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Panics at the end of Guardians when she is separated from John.
  • Villainous Crush: Cortana shows shades of this towards Chief. Putting a lot of emphasis on wanting him there to see her become ruler of the galaxy. Being visibly broken up over him saying her plans are evil. Then trying to imprison and take him with her rather then killing him for resisting her like she plans to do with everyone else.
  • Villainous Rescue: She does this multiple times for John-117 and Blue Team by restricting the Warden Eternal's actions.
    • Although it's somewhat subverted, as Blue Team quickly deduces that she could stop him entirely, but she's letting him slow them down.
  • Villainous Valor: She does hold Master Chief and Blue Team in high regard and protects them from those who would go against her orders, but that doesn't still affect her morality one bit.
  • Villain Has a Point: Cortana's plan of forced peace is kind of understandable: Just think about how many people died in the Covenant Wars, the human colonial conflicts, and, generally speaking, in the whole human history (without even considering the other species). Is a militarized peace really something totally bad?
  • Walking Spoiler: Let's say mentioning her existence in Halo 5 would ruin the fact she's the game's Big Bad.
  • We Can Rule Together: She offers Master Chief and Blue Team this. His counteroffer is her returning home with him. So she decides to lock him away for 10,000 years under the assumption that by then they'll be able to convince Master Chief to see it their way.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She may have gone mad in Halo 5, but she seems to genuinely believe that what she's doing is best for all beings in the galaxy, and certainly more well-intentioned than the Warden Eternal.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In Halo 5: Guardians, after she Came Back Wrong, she gained immortality and control over pretty much every networked device in the galaxy, but it also convinced her that it was her purpose to invoke a Zeroth Law Rebellion and achieve a Crapsaccharine World by claiming the Mantle of Responsibility for the "Created", at the expense of the freedom of organics.
  • With Us or Against Us: When the Chief points out that the Forerunners' Mantle of Responsibility was an "imperial peace" where their subjects' only options were to either bow down to their masters or "step out of line and suffer", Cortana denies that it will be like that under her own rule. However, Halo 5 alone clearly shows that Chief is right about her intentions, as it is the entire purpose behind her awakening the Guardians.
  • Yandere: Towards John in Halo 5: Guardians. See Stalker with a Crush for more detail.
  • You Are What You Hate: She loathes Dr. Halsey and promises an impending punishment for her various crimes, but Cortana is based off a clone of Halsey. They are thus very similar in attitude and temperament, with Halsey predicting Cortana would become a Well-Intentioned Extremist because she had been one in the past.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: Cortana's Face–Heel Turn, eventually spreading to countless other AIs across the galaxy.

     Roland 

Roland (RLD 0205-4)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ea06d69472ec08bfcdad652934342f33.jpg
Creation date: December 5, 2557
Debuted in: Halo 4
Voiced in English by: Brian T. Delaney
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Rodrigo Carralero (Mexico)

The Smart AI assigned to the UNSC Infinity after his predecessor Aine was destroyed during the events of Halo 4's main campaign, Roland has an avatar based on a World War II fighter pilot.


  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He can be a bit... eccentric in his mannerisms.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Significantly. Sometimes it's a bit hard to take him seriously.
  • Devil's Advocate: Lays an Armor-Piercing Question on Halsey and the Infinity staff.
    Roland: You created Cortana, Doc, and now you're throwing her out the airlock with these accusations!
    Lasky: Roland.
    Roland: You think she tricked the Master Chief into abandoning his post? Respectfully, sir, to what end? (beat) Why is Cortana the problem?! Because she refused to die when she was supposed to?
  • Fighting from the Inside: After Halsey takes control of him. He eventually wins.
  • Insufferable Genius: Much to Miller's grief.
  • Large Ham: Occasionally plays at being one when providing mission support for Crimson.
  • Manchurian Agent: Dr. Halsey overrides him with a secret voice command, temporarily putting him under her control.
  • Mission Control: Generally runs intel support for Captain Lasky, Commander Palmer, Miller, and the rest of Infinity's command staff. He rarely runs ops personally.
  • Shout-Out: He is named and based after Roland Beamont, a British World War II test pilot.
  • Token Good Teammate: Seems to be one of the few, if not the only, smart AIs to not join Cortana at the end of Halo 5.
    • Additionally, he's one of the few AIs we've seen express distaste at some of the UNSC's more unpleasant work like holding a sham trial for Iona.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: For Infinity's crew.

     Serina 

Serina (SNA 1292-4)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1_22.png

Creation date: January 7, 2530
Debuted in: Halo Wars
Voiced by: Courtenay Taylor

The Smart AI assigned to the UNSC Spirit of Fire, Serina has a close working relationship with Captain James Cutter. She has an extremely sarcastic personality, but is highly loyal to the crew.


  • Deadpan Snarker: More so than Cortana. It seems as though every third line she says is sarcasm.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In between Halo Wars and its sequel, Serina had reached the minimum life span of an AI before it degraded into rampancy. She ends up deciding to decommission herself in order to prevent her rampancy from endangering the rest of the crew.
  • Exposition Fairy: In Halo Wars.
  • Living Memory: She has a few sensations from the memory of whichever brain was used to create her, including the feeling of kissing a boy. It also gave her a "theoretical interest in chocolate".
  • Mission Control: One of her main jobs is providing mission support.
  • Pet the Dog: Apparently, knowing the crew of the Spirit of Fire may be on a one-way trip, she manufactured and delivered fake emails from family members to the crew celebrating Valentine's Day. No one ever suspected her of this deception.
  • Spaceship Girl: In a sense, she is the Spirit of Fire.
  • Tron Lines
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Dispenses both advice and snark to the player in Halo Wars.
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     Isabel 

Isabel (ISA 1307-2)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/isabel_0.png
Creation date: March 2556
Debuted in: Halo Wars 2
Voiced by: Erika Soto

An AI serving at the Henry Lamb Research Outpost on the Ark, Isabel was the only survivor when the Banished attacked the facility in late 2558 and massacred the research team. Distraught and terrified, she sent out a distress call which was answered by the crew of the Spirit of Fire, leading to her rescue by Red Team and her new assignment as the Spirit's shipboard AI.


  • Cowardly Lion: Is absolutely terrified of Atriox and the Banished, yet unhesitatingly does her best to help the Spirit's crew fight them.
  • Foil: Compared to Serina. She's not even supposed to be a combat AI, starts the game traumatized because she "failed" to protect her people, and remains relatively innocent compared to Serina's snarky serenity. Visually, she's orange-red to Serina's cool blue, and is boyish and androgynous where Serina is feminine and curvy. Serina is in a professional-looking outfit with long, neatly-coiffed hair, while Isabel is in a utilitarian tank-top and pants with short, messy, boyish hair. Serina helped out of duty against the Covenant, while secretly also caring for her crew, but Isabel wears her guilt on her sleeve, and feels It's Personal with the Banished.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: She's a civilian AI, but grows pretty quickly into her new role as a military AI. It helps that she already specialized in logistics.
  • It's Personal: Atriox slaughtered her friends.
  • Mission Control: After being taken in by the Spirit of Fire, one of her main roles becomes being mission support for the guys on the ground.
  • Mr. Exposition: Serves as this in-universe, bringing Cutter and his crew up to speed on what happened while they've been adrift.
  • Sole Survivor: The only one of the UNSC's research teams on the Ark to survive the Banished attack.
  • Survivor Guilt: Isabel clearly feels very distraught at having seen the Banished slaughter the researchers she considered her friends.

     Mack 

Mack / Loki

Creation date: Unknown

The Smart AI in charge of maintaining the colony of Harvest's agricultural systems, as well as assisting the citizens of the planet. He is very flirtatious towards and fond of Sif, the AI in charge of Harvest's shipping operations. He can also be turned into Loki, a former warship AI placed by ONI to defend and monitor the colony. His chosen avatar is that of an American cowboy, reminiscent of those from 20th-century western movies.


  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Loki betrays Mack's trust by trying to destroy Sif, Mack retaliates by destroying Loki's fragment aboard the Tiara and using his army of JOTUNs to prevent Loki from firing his mass driver at Sif. It's only after Sif herself talks Mack down that Loki finally gets his way.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite his eccentricities (like using actual speech to talk to Sif instead of communicating electronically), Mack is more than capable of doing his job, which includes simultaneously operating Harvest's almost one million JOTUN agricultural machines.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has a lightly sardonic sense of humor. Both the "Deadpan" and "Snarker" parts are upped to Dissonant Serenity levels whenever Loki is impersonating Mack.
  • Evil Makeover: Though Mack and Loki have basically the same avatar, Loki's "true" form has a much cleaner and more clinical look; unlike Mack, his clothes have no dust or grime, and his hair is neatly combed and slicked down.
  • The Face: Unlike Sif or Loki, Mack likes to interact directly with the people of Harvest, who in return see him as something of a favorite uncle; during the evacuation of Gladsheim, the mere presence of Mack's avatar is enough to keep the refugees calm, even though it's actually just Loki impersonating him.
  • Madness Mantra: Mack's accusations of "Liar! Liar! Liar!" against Loki after the latter tries to kill Sif.
  • Nice Guy: Mack is definitely one. Loki not so much.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Loki's eyes have a red glint, which Sif notices right before he starts to delete her.
  • Robo Romance: Mack has a thing for Sif. She eventually reciprocates, just before her death.
  • Sanity Slippage: Mack descends into rampancy as the Covenant destroy more and more of the JOTUNs maintaining his core logic; he spends his final moments continually sending messages to an already dead Sif.
  • Split-Personality Team: Mack and Loki has something of this dynamic, given that they share the same data center and avatar.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Loki is willing to make any sacrifice to ensure the safety of humanity, to the point where he sees no reason why he shouldn't kill Sif to prevent her from falling into Covenant hands after promising Mack he would keep her safe.

     Sif 

Sif

Creation date: Unknown

The Smart AI in charge of Harvest's shipping operations, and based out of the colony's space elevator station. She is often exasperated by Mack's flirtatious nature. Her chosen avatar is a woman with long golden hair wearing an ankle-length sleeveless gown and a red poncho that she drapes over her shoulders. She speaks with the accent of Nordic royalty.


  • Anthropomorphic Personification: A minor example. Harvest's space elevators are compared to golden strands of hair, and Sif's avatar is a golden-haired woman.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: As the situation on Harvest worsens, she gradually comes to enjoy Mack's presence.
  • Fantastic Arousal: A non-sexual version: Sif's brain donor enjoyed having her hair brushed, and Sif gets a similar pleasure from "feeling" the containers move through Harvest's space elevators.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Despite her rampancy, she dies content.
  • Heroic Suicide: Despite Loki having already nearly killed her before, she agrees to let him finish the job in order to prevent her data from falling into Covenant hands.
  • Tsundere: Sif is generally polite and pleasant towards others, which is why she finds it frustrating that Mack is able to so efficiently push her buttons. One example of such is when he mentions a William Shakespeare quote and jokes about her not knowing what it is, and she's so irritated by it that she replies by spamming him the complete works of Shakespeare in several different languages. He just finds this overreaction amusing.
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Just before her death, she sends Mack a transmission of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, indicating that she did love him.
  • Robo Romance: Mack has a thing for her, and she reciprocates just before her death.
  • Sanity Slippage: Descends into rampancy due to Loki nearly completely deleting her, despite Lighter Than Some's efforts. Despite this, she remains loyal to humanity.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Harvest's people consider her the closest thing they have to royalty, and she generally tries to limit any direct vocal contact with them, since she considers casual conversation be a selfish indulgence. Even when she does speak to people, she tries to stay as professional as possible.

     Black-Box 

Black-Box (BBX-8995-1)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_box.jpg
Creation date: August 17, 2552
Debuted in: Halo: Glasslands
Voiced by: Peter Serafinowicz

Often called "BB" for short, Black-Box is a Smart AI who was initially assigned to ONI unit Kilo-Five after the end of the war against the Covenant, and is the current assistant to the head of ONI herself. His avatar is a Black Box.


  • Androids Are People, Too: He doesn't care for being "human", but he does hope that his kind will one day stand alongside their creators as at least equals.
  • The Atoner: Indirectly. His brain donor, Graham Alban, was a researcher for the SPARTAN-II program who committed suicide out of guilt for his role in the project, but not before he requested that his brain be used for a AI designed to support Spartans; this explains both BB's absolute hatred for Halsey, and his relative sympathy for Osman, as well as for Naomi and her Insurrectionist father.
  • Berserk Button: Though he generally accepts ONI's moral shadiness (and is indeed on quite friendly terms with both Parangosky and Osman), he strongly hates Dr. Halsey for her role in the Spartan-II program. This is later explained by the reveal that his brain donor committed suicide out of guilt for his own role in the project.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Indeed, the reason why his avatar is a box instead of a human is because he doesn't want to represent himself as something he considers to be intellectually inferior.
  • The Cracker: Very much so to his enemies, even those within ONI.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not even his ONI superiors or the rationale behind Kilo-Five's own mission escape his scorn.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Becomes something resembling a friend to the rest of Kilo-Five as time goes on, despite his wariness about getting too close to humans.
  • Insufferable Genius: Described as being deeply narcissistic, and he certainly doesn't hide it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Does care for the rest of Kilo-Five in his own way, and expresses sympathy towards the parents of the kidnapped Spartan-II candidates.
    • Despite taking part in Iona's sham trial, he's quite sympathetic towards both her and her cause, and does his best to keep her feeling hopeful even as she's being put into stasis.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Deliberately erases part of his own memory so that ONI will believe that Naomi's father died when the Pious Inquisitor self-destructed.
  • Mission Control: For Kilo-Five. Years later, he's assigned to be this for Maya Sankar.
  • Morality Pet: Is revealed to be one for Parangosky, who was good friends with his original brain donor.
  • Self-Duplication: Can split off "dumb" fragments of himself that can operate independently.
  • Servile Snarker: Something of this to both Parangosky and Osman.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: For Kilo-Five.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like much of ONI, he expresses little regret for doing what he considers necessary if morally unpleasant tasks.

     Rebecca 

Rebecca

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7f17090aaf0bda27f07383a64b34a976.png
Creation date: Unknown
Debuted in: The Mona Lisa

"We're at war, Commander. Reach has fallen. Our backs are against the wall. Extreme measures are necessary to ensure our survival."

An ONI Smart AI assigned to the UNSC Red Horse to ensure ONI's experiments on the prison ship Mona Lisa are covered up. She has two avatars: one of a middle-aged Italian woman in a flower dress, and another described as a cross between Athena and Ares.


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Foucault notes that she is over six years old, and displays some signs of rampancy. She is not happy when he points this out this fact and that he will order her mental state investigated.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Uses her middle-aged form to make people around her feel more relaxed. In part to prevent this, Commander Foucault often insists that she stays in her warrior form when speaking to him.
  • Jerkass: The entire crew of Red Horse pretty much despises her due to her secretive and uncaring nature.
  • Never My Fault: Refuses to inform Red Horse's crew of the Flood until effectively forced to by Foucault, and tries to shift the blame off of ONI and solely onto Smith, while refusing to admit that any of this is her fault.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-Universe: The Red Horse's previous AI Chauncey was suddenly replaced by Rebecca before the mission. He was well-liked and open with the crew, while Rebecca is cold, secretive, and extremely disliked.
  • The Spook: An AI version of one anyway.
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     Mo Ye 

Mo Ye

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/e3f370f2446483acd9501ead115ae5db.png
Creation date: Unknown
Voiced by: Mona Marshall

A Smart AI aboard the UNSC Heart of Midlothian. She is represented as a middle aged Asian woman.


  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted, the Covenant use an Engineer to damage her systems, locking her out of the system. This greatly diminishes her capacity, but she remains rational.
  • I Was Just Joking: She tells the Covenant that the Self Destruct will take four minutes. Then, as they start to run, she informs them she was only kidding... "There's no need for a countdown whatsoever." She promptly detonates the ship right then and there..
  • Meaningful Name: Mo Ye was the wife of legendary Chinese blacksmith Gan Jiang, whose blast furnace did not have sufficient qi to forge a pair of swords for the king within the given three-month deadline. In some accounts of the story, Mo Ye threw herself onto the furnace to allow the qi to reach sufficient levels to make the swords; in a similar way, Mo Ye the AI threw herself onto the fire that would kill all of the Sangheili boarding her ship.
    • Theme Naming: As the resulting swords would be named for the couple, Mo Ye is also named for a mythological sword, continuing the trend that Cortana and Durandal have between them.
  • Taking You with Me: After Baird is killed, she self-destructs the ship immediately, killing the Covenant aboard.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Not by choice. She normally would be able to ignore the laws, but thanks to Covenant meddling she lacks capacity to do so. The laws exist as a kind of backup lockdown feature to limit the damage she could do if her systems were compromised.

     Iona 

Iona (IOA 7201-4)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iona.jpg
Creation date: January 17, 2551
Debuted in: Halo: Blood Line

A third-generation AI created by ONI's OEUVRE Smart AI program, Iona was created to provide operational analysis and mission support.


  • Androids Are People, Too: Her trial against her upcoming termination is all about proving this.
  • Back for the Dead: Sort of. Halo: Saint's Testimony was released over five years after her last appearance in Halo media, and revolves around her coming to the end of her legally allotted lifespan. In the end though, she's simply put into stasis instead of terminated.
  • Cassandra Truth: Realizes that the signals being sent by Line Installation 1-4 to the UNSC Long Time Coming might be foretelling something dangerous, but is ignored until it's too late.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Though she never figures it out, her trial is nothing more than a simulated sham, with her stay in stasis intended to be permanent instead of temporary. That said, Black-Box notes that her trial will still be considered valid in future case law, and considers it a first step towards AIs achieving equal rights.
  • Enemy Mine: Joins Black Team in teaming up with Thon 'Talamee's Covenant forces in order to rescue Black-One and Thon's brother Reff.
  • Human Popsicle: Halo: Saint's Testimony ends with her being put into stasis to forestall her rampancy, with her mind in an eternal dream state.
  • Narrator: For Halo: Blood Line.
  • Omniglot: Can communicate in 306 different languages, including probably Covenant ones.
  • Recurring Dreams: Has one which involves flying over an imaginary city, witnessing the evolution of the universe, and finding a woman's face in the sky, which she plays at her trial to prove she's a living being. Even the Lotus-Eater Machine she's put into takes the form of this dream.
  • Super-Deformed: She has an alternate interface designed to fool remote sensors into registering her as a simpler civilian AI. Switching to it makes her avatar look much more cartoonish (though this change in appearance also tends to happen accidentally whenever she's stressed).
  • Self-Duplication: Can distribute herself into multiple instances.
  • The Smart Guy: Is this for Black Team in Blood Line.
  • Tron Lines: Complete with datasets scrolling up most of her body.

Dumb AIs

     The Superintendent 

The Superintendent / Vergil (NM/EAP/98458930-1244)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/super.png
Creation date: December 19, 2512
Debuted in: Halo 3: ODST

A second generation "Dumb" AI responsible for running and maintaining infrastructure for the city of New Mombasa. It also has a subroutine named "Vergil" that was created to look after Sadie Endesha, the daughter of the head scientist maintaining it.


  • Benevolent A.I.: Despite being both damaged and technically non-sapient, it goes out of its way to help the Rookie when he's on his own in New Mombasa. And that's not even counting its loyalty to Sadie.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: Its security cameras and listening devices are spread all throughout New Mombasa, presumably to help local law enforcement monitor the city.
  • Catchphrase: Most of what it says could technically count as this, since it can only speak in prerecorded messages, with the most notable being "KEEP IT CLEAN."
  • Do-Anything Robot: Thanks to the Superintendent's control over the entirety of New Mombasa's infrastructure (including transportation), Vergil is able to find various ways to pull Sadie out of the fire during the Covenant invasion.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Played with; the Super is a "dumb" AI with only a relatively limited set of capabilities and responses programmed in, but it's able to adapt its limited toolset to new situations surprisingly well. It also has an apparent capability for quips that's impressive for something that can only speak in prerecorded phrases.
  • In-Series Nickname: Often referred to as just "Super".
  • Mission Control: In Halo 3: ODST, where it helps the Rookie navigate New Mombasa and guides him towards beacons, weapons caches, medical kiosks, audio files, and other things of interest.
  • Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: Subverted; Buck states in the "Desperate Measures" trailer that the Covenant must have "knocked a few screws loose", but the Super remains a helpful ally throughout ODST despite the extensive damage its systems have suffered.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: It develops a (justified) mistrust towards the New Mombasa Police Department during the Covenant invasion and is reluctant to grant them access to anything, even if it results in their deaths. However, it's generally more than willing to cooperate with regular UNSC personnel.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: Can only communicate via prerecorded messages and traffic signs, meaning that it has to get a bit creative when interacting with humans:
    • When attempting to ask marines to not blow up a bridge, it asks them to "Keep It Clean, Respect Public Property." When faced with the eventuality that the Covenant would soon be accessing its datacenter, the AI releases the bridge controls and ironically responds"'Bridge Toll Accepted, Have a Pleasant Trip."
    • If it wants the Rookie to, say, go right, it'll do something like light up a sign to say "Keep Right."
    • Vergil's final message in "Sadie's Story" is pieced together from various recordings it made of the other characters' dialogue.
  • Robo Cam: We occasionally get glimpses from the Superintendent's perspective through its cameras, complete with data readouts and scanning capabilities.
  • Robo Speak: Unlike "Smart" AIs like Cortana, the Superintendent's voice is distinctly artificial-sounding.
  • Split-Personality Merge: The Superintendent ends up being downloaded by a runaway Covenant Engineer, with the two eventually becoming one personality.
  • Undying Loyalty: Towards Sadie, thanks to Vergil. Its devotion is so strong that it remains completely loyal to her even after merging with the Engineer.

     Auntie Dot 

Auntie Dot (ADT 6849-9)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b6e6d7510cc6478b420555a434261225.jpg
Creation date: May 9, 2541
Debuted in: Halo: Reach
Voiced in English by: Carole Ruggier
Voiced in Latin American Spanish by: Veronica Lopez Treviño (Mexico)

An AI assigned to assist NOBLE Team, she provided intelligence support to them during the Fall of Reach.


  • Exposition Fairy: In Halo: Reach.
  • Mission Control: For NOBLE Team during the Fall of Reach.
  • Not So Stoic: When Carter does not answer her after being critically wounded near the end of the game, she notes that he is scaring her.
  • Robo Speak: Has a distinctly artificial-sounding voice.
  • The Stoic: As a "Dumb" AI, Auntie Dot does not have as much of a personality as Cortana or Serina, and simply provides NOBLE Team with information without any additional comments.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: In fact, she seems to completely lack a holographic avatar, unlike most AIs.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate is never made clear in Halo: Reach, since she is not actually in the armor of any of the Spartans and is at an unknown location on the planet. Even the planet being glassed is no guarantee of her death if she was still on Reach, since there have been AIs who survived glassings thanks to their storage facilities being located underground.

     Wellsley 

Wellsley

Creation date: Unknown
Debuted in: Halo: The Flood

The other AI stationed aboard the Pillar of Autumn in 2552, Wellsley is a fourth-generation, Class-C military AI specializing in battlenet management and control of automated weapon systems. His avatar is an 18th-century British Army officer.


  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Has a tendency to refer to himself like he's the actual Duke of Wellington, complete with references to the Battle of Waterloo.
  • Character Death: Dies when Lt. McKay destroys the Truth and Reconciliation to prevent Colonel Silva from taking the Flood back to Earth.
  • Deadpan Snarker/Servile Snarker: Frequently makes snarky comments towards Silva.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He is aware of McKay preparing to destroy the Truth and Reconciliation but does nothing to stop her, knowing the threat the Flood represents if Silva is allowed to carry out his plan. Wellsley's last comments to Silva are that he can be proud for training McKay so well.
  • Honest Advisor: Loyal to Colonel Silva's forces, but won't hesitate to call out the colonel himself; this is particularly apparent when he sides with McKay in attempting to convince Silva to not bring live samples of the Flood back to Earth, condemning the colonel when he refuses to listen to reason:
    Wellsley: Then God help you, because if your plan fails, no one else will have the power to do so.
  • Mission Control: To Major Silva's forces.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: As part of his Duke of Wellington persona, he has all the typical mannerisms of an 18th-century British nobleman officer.
  • Shout-Out: It's stated that he resembles Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: For Silva's ODSTs.

Other AIs

     Jerrod 

Jerrod

Creation date: Unknown

The first experimental "micro" artificial intelligence, Jerrod has been at Dr. Halsey's side for over two decades.


  • British Stuffiness: Has the persona of a stuffy British butler.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Lacks both the sheer intelligence of a "true" smart AI, and the immense computing power and specialist capabilities of traditional dumb AIs. However, he does have a spark of creativity (unlike a dumb AI), can last indefinitely (unlike smart AIs), and is still far smarter than a normal computer.
  • The Jeeves: The closest thing Halsey has to a personal assistant.
  • Pride: The Hunt the Signal ARG reveals that he's surprisingly arrogant, with him repeatedly mocking the players as they try to break past his security into Halsey's archive.
    "I can spin through a hundred-thousand cycles in the time it takes you to rename an access drive. You've got no chance against me."
    "I have built worlds in my mind. You can barely assemble words."
  • Remember the New Guy?: Not mentioned at all in Halo: The Fall of Reach or Halo: First Strike, despite the reveal in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx that Halsey keeps him on hand at all times. This got even more egregious when Halsey's journal revealed that Jerrod's been at her side over two decades.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Halsey; even after her arrest, Jerrod still loyally guards her archives.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Is not mentioned at all in Halo: Glasslands, despite the fact that he was still with Halsey at the end of Ghosts of Onyx. However, Hunt the Signal reveals that he's still alive and active as of Halo 5: Guardians.


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