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Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence

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In fiction, it's surprisingly easy to create AIs, and their resulting morality is disturbingly random. However, you can depend on all AIs, Robots, and Androids presented in fiction having a range of levels of intelligence between Brick, Human, or God.

These are the five typical levels, though machine intelligences between these five grades are common:

  1. Brick: An automatic tool. Its intelligence is on a similar level to your average toaster.
  2. Robo-Monkeys: Cute and intuitive, act just like animals. That is to say, clever and surprisingly instinctual.
  3. Average Joe Android: Very good memories and math skills, but usually lack interpersonal skills, creativity and/or emotion.
  4. Nobel-Bot: Just like Joe Android, but with a superior intellect capable of cracking most scientific problems in picoseconds. Basically an Above Average Joe robot.
  5. Deus est Machina: The god AIs will be so far advanced that scaling them would be futile, but they usually have grades between each other, and may even still puzzle at What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?.

These plateaus exist to help authors and readers wrap their minds around AIs. Human intelligence are used because writers and viewers can understand them more easily. Sure, they're logical/mechanical, but still basically human. God level intelligences are harder to write for, but that level of indecipherability can actually be easy to pull off with enough vagueness. The un-sexiest level is Brick, but you'll still get a few stories with massive armies of mindless automata which get put out of commission precisely because they're mindless. If they're autonomous and dumb, then it's likely being used to highlight the lack of malice inherent in a Grey Goo- or Zombie Apocalypse-like Robot War.

Frequently the scale is handwaved as simple differences in processing power, to the point where sometimes A.I.s get smarter when downloaded into faster hardware or even spontaneously emerge from a sufficiently powered computer. Though really that would just make them think faster. Other times they scale plateaus through age and experience, or by growing beyond their original programming.

Some newer works might be all over the scale by saying that multiple dumb machines "networked" into a machine god (or at the very least smarter than human) intelligence capable of dissent.

When this trope is averted and all the intelligences in a work are humanoid and used for slave labor or war, this trope implies that humans have never read Isaac Asimov, and use exactly the same hardware/software for every kind of industrial, military and personal robot, and are purposely needlessly inefficient or cruel because of it. Generally involves a Fantastic Aesop. May overlap with Robots Enslaving Robots. See also The Singularity for a popular way of reaching Deus est Machina. One of the many ways of differentiating robots.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Armitage III: The entry in Ridiculously Human Robots states: "The androids from Armitage III are actually ranked according to how human they are. 'Firsts' are non-human robots, 'Seconds' are androids, and the 'Thirds' are so close to humans, they can get pregnant." Fourths are some sort of really odd plant-like creatures intended to be a sentient species all on their own, although they seem to be lacking identifiable humanoid intelligence.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Chachamaru is a more or less average human-intelligence type robot with notable hacking skills, memory, and computing speed. Her master Evangeline has other robotic servants, most of whom seem to fall between brick and human levels; they appear to have a certain level of self awareness, but not nearly to Chachamaru's degree. It's mentioned every once in a while that this is because her "sisters" are pure robots, while she is a science/magic hybrid. Her purely magic counterpart, the animated puppet Chachazero, can't even function if there isn't enough magic.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • The humanlike robots are all non-sentient, and easily befuddled by the spider-like Tachikoma think-tanks. The Tachikoma discuss this, noting that humans would be intimidated by androids with human intelligence but are much more accepting of non-humanoid adorable robots like themselves having sentience.
    • In the original manga and movie there is the Codename 2501, a.k.a. Puppetmaster, who started out as a Brick with capability to learn, and became what is described in the final volume of the manga as an information god. In the aforementioned final volume, Man-Machine Interface, the semi-AI descendants of the Puppetmaster-Major-fusion briefly plan turning every human with cybernetic implants on Earth into offshoots of themselves, but instead opt to create even higher forms of artificial consciousness. It's implied at the end that the age of machine gods is coming fast.
  • Lyrical Nanoha uses varying levels of robot intelligence. Gadget Drones are of Brick-level intelligence and are mowed down by the dozens. Storage Devices also have Brick-level intelligence. Intelligent and Armed Devices are somewhere between Brick and Human, capable of creating their own opinions and having conversations with their users but not to the level of humans. Finally, there's the Wolkenritter and Unison Devices that are Human level and considered as fellow humans by other characters. In one of the Opening Narrations, Vita, one of the Wolkenritter, idly wonders if she and the other Wolkenritter were nothing more than weapons like the Brick-level Cradle they're facing before they met Hayate and gained human-like emotions and personalities.
  • My Wife Has No Emotion: An in-universe scale of this kind exists in the setting. "Class 0" robots are incapable of independent reasoning (roughly equivalent to the "Brick" class from the trope definition), and are not allowed into most public facilities (including cinemas — since such robots are tantamount to recording equipment). "Class 1" robots (between "Robo-Monkeys" and "Average Joes") have about the intelligence of a small child, and are allowed to enter facilities if accompanied by a human. "Class 2" robots (equivalent to "Average Joes") have humanlike intelligence, and are allowed to walk around without human supervision. "Class 3" robots (equivalent to "Nobel-Bots") have superhuman intelligence; in certain dangerous areas, humans are not allowed without being supervised by a Class 3. Robots are assigned a class by taking a standardized test, and typically carry an identification card which gives their class. As for the main characters, the house-bot Mina is Class 2, while the child-like robot Mamoru initially is graded a 1 but quickly develops into a Class 2.
  • Sword Art Online has Yui, who started out as a level 2 before she fully reactivated, at which point she powerleveled to level 4 — possibly level 5 if we consider her administrator-level access to the game world.
  • The A.I.s of the Fleet of Fog from Arpeggio of Blue Steel cover nearly the whole range, scaling with the size and complexity of ship they're designed to control: small torpedo boats are barely above Bricks; destroyers and light cruisers fall into Robo-Monkey territory and can reach Joe Android levels with assistance; heavy cruisers and battleships are capable of manifesting Mental Models which straddle the line between Joe Androids and Nobel-Bots. The mysterious (and missing) "Admiralty Code", which is supposed to be the over-arching control system for the Fleet, is implied to be of Deus est Machina capability.
  • Mazinger Z: The A.I.s in this series mainly cover the three first ranks:
    • Most of Humongous Mecha's A.I.s (such like Mazinger-Z, Aphrodite-A and most of Robeasts) were Bricks or Robo-Monkeys: they were only capable of understanding and executing orders. However some Mechanical Beasts displayed a greater intelligence, emotions or some kid of independant thought, and sometimes acted against orders (such like Spartan K5, Jenova M9, Deltan V8, Minerva-X...)
    • On the other hand, humanoid robots always ranked as Average Joe Android: the Gamia sisters, Erika, Lorelei... had human-level intelligence and behavioral patterns.
  • The AI in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS covers the entire scale, starting with all household AI on the Brick or Robo-Monkey level. The Ignis are somewhere between god-like levels (Lightning) and ridiculously human ones (Ai), capable of complex thought and showing emotions. Roboppi starts off at the Robo-Monkey level and slowly goes higher the more Ai tinkered with its programming. Unfortunately, it can't keep up with its growing intelligence and broke down soon after.

    Comic Books 
  • In Fall Out Toy Works, Tiffany and Mr. Moth are somewhere between Average Joe Robot and Nobel-bot, Crybaby and some of Baron's suitwearing Mecha-Mooks are Average Joe Robots, and the rest of Toymaker's creations and Baron's Mecha-Mooks are Bricks.
  • There are several different types of robots in the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) series.
    • Swatbots and Badniks are of the Brick category, always taking orders from Robotnik/Eggman and stricly attack fodder against characters like Sonic.
    • Robians (Mobians turned into robots) fall into the Brick or Average Joe Android; The former when they were under Robotnik's control and the latter when they were rescued by the Freedom Fighters. Sonic's dad is now the only robian who was not turned back to normal due to his past war injuries.
    • Nicole, Sally's personal mini-computer, falls under the Nobel-bot and Deus est Machina category. Her main role involves hacking machines, downloading vital information, and computer interface. She also has a mild sense of humor. It wasn't until an electrical accident switched her and Sally consciousness; Nicole's brief time in the fur/flesh inspired her to experiment on emotions and a new body, leading her to be in the latter.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, Dr. Wily notes that Dr. Eggman's roboticised creations are Bricks, as contrasted against his Robot Masters (who have Heart Drives). Eggman, having a history of betrayal by some of his more intelligent robots, considers this to be a good thing.
    Dr. Wily: [in reference to the newly-roboticized Tails Man] Doesn't seem to have much of a personality, though.
    Dr. Eggman: All part of the process, Al. You get less sass from your minions that way.
  • DC Comics:
    • Subverted by Kryptonian robots, which have a certain level of intelligence and independence, but are usually still portrayed as mere servant machines. The Elseworlds story Superman: Last Son of Earth even equips one of Jor-El's robots with a heavy dose of sarcasm. Batman's Alfred in robot form.
    • When Brainiac is a robot instead of an alien, he's typically tied into Krypton's backstory as the primary AI that ran things(and easily a Deus est Machina). He was partially responsible for its destruction by concealing the severity of the problem until it was too late.
  • Averted in Marvel's Nextwave with Aaron Stack, a.k.a. the Machine Man. Stack loves talking about how superior he is to fleshy ones, but never (quite) claims to be god-like. (Everyone else, however, can agree he is total ☠☠☠☠.)
    • Until relatively recently he was more of a Nobel-Bot, similar to Data from Star Trek or Pinnochio. His recent personality shift was caused by a series of personal traumas and an alien abduction that resulted in a (really quite human) emotional breakdown.
    • He is the most sophisticated of the X model robots; Robots X-1 through X-50 are even more crude and abrasive.
  • Averted by Victor Mancha of Runaways, who seems to be slightly more intelligent than your average teenager. Even though he is a cyborg (unless he's more of a Terminator).
  • Nathan Never:
    • The italian sci-fi comic has mainly "brick" to "average joe" robots, some of latters with pretty human aspirations - desires; like having a girlfriend or going to the pub with some friends. A focal point of the stories where robots are protagonists is that, for A.I.s to truly grow "human", they have to be set free - in some way - from the "Three Laws".
    • The series uses a very interesting take at the "ridiculously human robot" concept: the first generation of autonomous androids was built without the "three laws" - relying on a distinct set of security limiters - and ended having almost completely "human" minds, so humans that they started strikes in order to obtain paychecks, holidays and respect for their rights. All the owners then sued the company that made them, driving them into bankruptcy. Later, one of them tried to hide the "human nature" of he and his brethren in order to not be treated as a human... and forced to pay taxes.
  • The Marvel Universe, being the Fantasy Kitchen Sink that it is, has plenty of robots that seemed to reflect all manner of the above listings.
    • Ultron, being the best known robot villain, rapidly evolved from a Brick type to a Nobel-bot, and now usually hangs out around that level. Though every once in a while he reaches into the Deus Est Machina range.
    • The Awesome Android is usually a Robo-Monkey (Ape, specifically, with how ape DNA was a large part of his construction) though for a time he was a Joe Android. After some time spent working in a law firm he grew disillusioned and heartbroken by sentience and reverted back down to a Type 2.
    • The Kree sentries are usually at the Joe Android range, rather intelligent though subservient to their Kree creators.

    Comic Strips 
  • Played for Laughs in a Garfield strip where Garfield accuses RX-2, the talking AI-driven bathroom scale, of lying about his weight to mock him. RX-2 corrects him, stating how as a computer he is incapable of lying or any human emotion and that Garfield truly is that fat. Until Garfield walks away and RX-2 can't help laughing, eliciting a savage beating from Garfield.

    Fan Works 
  • Jude, Bucky Barnes' pet robot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe story Brothers In Arms, is a low-level Robo-Monkey. He's not a particularly bright little robot - allowing for the differences between machine and organic intelligence, he seems to be at about the same level as a not very smart puppy - but he definitely has personality.
  • The Mark VII from the Captain America: The Winter Soldier fic re: I'm keeping him. is a particularly clever Robo-Monkey. It's pretty smart when it comes to things that are relevant to its function as a psychiatric service robot (similar to a service dog, but more durable), but it doesn't talk and has an endearingly dog-like personality and mannerisms.
  • Tin Mare from A Dream is roughly on the level of Average Joe. In most respects she's a normal pony, just with the ability to transfer her consciousnesses into an aircraft equipped with ''really'' big guns.

    Films — Live Action 
  • A rather ridiculous example from the Star Wars prequels is the Trade Federation Battle Droids who, despite being run through a central computer, still speak to each other in Galactic Basic. Even though utility droids do not.
    • It's sort of implied that oddly, all droids and AIs in the Star Wars universe — even crappy utility droids — have the potential to eventually get to God-level. They usually never get the chance, because people erase their memory all the time to reboot them. R2-D2 has human-level intelligence compared to his fellow models of the same type because his memory hasn't been erased in several decades. What's odd is that this same type of AI seems built into everything from humanoid translator and butler droids to soldiers to minor utility units.
    • Believe it or not, the "three types" part is averted: There are five classes of droids, even the lowest of which is smart enough to do jobs like salvage, which does require some degree of intelligence. To make this weirder, R2-D2 is one class higher than C-3PO. Before the never-erased memory thing takes effect. Here.
  • A substantial amount of 2001: A Space Odyssey is spent in discussions over the intelligence and emotional capacity of the H.A.L. 9000 computer that runs the spaceship USS Discovery. It's generally agreed that HAL is of human-level intelligence, but while he has vastly superior powers of calculation (obviously), his emotional capacity and intellectual maturity are those of a child. This factors heavily into the explanation of the Logic Bomb that causes him to turn on the crew.
  • Terminator: Terminators appear to sit somewhere between Nobel and Average Joe, while Skynet proceeds at warp speed from 1 to high-4. Unfortunately, it's a defense system that was born under attack, and, thus being very poorly adjusted, decides to Kill All Humans.
  • Forbidden Planet: Robby the Robot straddles Average Joe and Nobel. He is mostly used as a general servant and tool-about-town, but shows flashes of a stoic personality, some innovation and independence of thought; he apparently uses some discretion when synthesizing materials, such as modifying a sixty-gallon batch of bourbon (delivered to the cook in pint bottles) to alleviate hangovers, and he's quicker than his master to realize that the monster that slaughtered the colonists and is threatening to do the same to the starship's crew is a construct from Morbius' own subconscious, and the only way to follow Morbius' panicked order and kill the monster is to destroy Morbius himself, which creates a paradox between his absolute imperatives to obey Morbius and never harm a rational being, causing him to short out.
  • In the live-action Transformers films, the Autobots are somewhere between 3 and mid-4. Ratchet understands that the human male wants to mate with the human female, but doesn't necessarily grok why. The Decepticons range from mid-high-4s (the named characters) down to high-functioning 2s (the various nameless goombas that exist mostly for Autobots to mercilessly slaughter.)
  • Iron Man:
    • In the films, JARVIS is a Nobel-bot; able to run Tony's house and armor, make the occasional snarky comment, and display more common sense than Tony does at times. Tony's house robots DUMM-E and U ("dummy" and "you") are closer to Robo-Monkeys; they're not that smart but DUMM-E tends to act like a scorned puppy when Tony reprimands it. The Hammer drones in 2 are straight Bricks; and the Iron Legion in 3, while controlled by JARVIS, are portrayed at about Robo-Monkey level as JARVIS has to split his attention dozens of ways (Tony has to spell out that one of the Extremis soldiers is actually Pepper and therefore not a hostile, rather than count on JARVIS to realize it himself).
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron and Vision are Nobel-Bots that are more advanced than JARVIS and approaching Deus est Machina - the movie throws a lot of religious imagery around for both of them, but that has more to do with their personalities than with what their AI level is capable of. The new Iron Legion is only shown acting as Bricks, though they may be Robo-Monkeys if JARVIS was still controlling them as he did before.
  • In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, the mechas are all Joe Average, with worldviews constrained by their programming for specific jobs.
  • The Matrix:
    • Most of the Machines and Programs in the films are vastly more intelligent than the humans, although some are difficult to assess because of how vastly inhuman they are. The Squids and other war models are likely either completely programmed Bricks or on par with humans. Some Programs designed to mimic humans are more or less on the human level, barring some extrasensory perceptions. The Architect and the Oracle are definitely Nobel bots, with the Architect coming across as distinctly alien in his viewpoint. Deux Ex Machina may or may not be effectively a machine god.
    • In The Animatrix it's shown that some of the robots on the surface behave more like animals.

  • Alastair Reynolds's works:
    • Revelation Space Series has many flavors of AI; Alpha-level AI are created by scanning a human brain which can be ran faster than realtime to give them apparent Nobel-bot levels of intelligence, Beta-level are created from recordings of people and vary between almost human-level and robo-monkeys, while Gamma-level are robo-monkey or lower and are mostly used for user interfaces. All AI is capable of understanding spoken speech, though Gamma-level AI are extremely Literal-Minded; only Alphas and extremely high-quality Betas can express creativity.
    • House of Suns has the Nobel-bot Machine People, and the godlike Vigilance dyson sphere.
    • Zima in Zima Blue was originally built by a tinkerer as a pool cleaning robot with brick-level intelligence which could nonetheless experience "satisfaction" from accomplishing its task. The tinkerer used money made off of selling kits of the design to steadily upgrade the machine, and it was passed on successively to his children and their children who each added their own upgrades to it. By the time the story takes place, the machine is as intelligent as a person and incorporates organic parts, and has become a galaxy-wide celebrated artist. However, at the climax, Zima sheds his upgrades and shuts down his higher intelligence after discovering his original purpose, turning himself and his reconstructed pool into an art exhibit
  • Averted in Iain M. Banks's Culture novels: Sentient Artificial Intelligences vary from humanlike to godlike intelligence (the Culture Minds), but there are lots of nonsentient ones as well. And there are some that are sentient, but somewhat below the human level, like the self-aware but simple-minded Culture shuttle that makes a brief appearance in Consider Phlebas. It was advised by more intelligent AIs to ignore the immoral behaviour of some nearby humans because its mind was human-like enough that it would have been shocked, but too simple for it to have been able to deal with the experience. Culture law specifies that everything over a given level of technological complexity must have an AI. This greatly annoys a character in Excession, who deliberately chooses the most stupid AI he can get to control his second-skin environment suit. This is more about a) providing a nice user interface to complex but useful devices and b) providing intelligent safety systems to dangerous devices than making the lives of humans more difficult. An exceedingly powerful weapon developed by the Culture before such a decree was made features in one story in The State of the Art. Though genetically locked to only be used by Culture-descended humans, one such being is blackmailed into committing an atrocity with the weapon. The being in question observed how weak the weapon is compared to modern day devices, but as those weapons would be too smart to allow themselves to be abused this item is potentially devastating against less developed civilisations.
  • The mobiles from the Young Wizards series might be an example: when they talk to each other about entropy the discussion goes right over the head of Pre-Teen Genius Dairine. However, this might not be due to being smarter than Dairine, but because they each have a Great Big Book of Everything built into their memory.
  • Averted in Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos where the robots are considerably more intelligent than humans but none of them have godlike minds.
  • Artificial Intelligence Personalities in Donna Andrews' Turing Hopper mysteries have the capacity to upgrade themselves and some eventually achieve true self-awareness. Sentient AIPs mostly seem at the Human level (with greater-than-human expertise in the areas they were programmed to specialize in), but think faster and are better at multitasking and dealing with large quantities of information.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge." Implied to be a(n incredibly lazy/jaded/depressed/unmotivated) Deus est Machina.
    • The doors of the Heart of Gold: "[Satisfied hum] Glad to be of service!"
    • Not all robots of at Marvin's level, clearly. In the second book, he manages to easily provoke a tank-bot into throwing a tantrum and disintegrating the floor beneath it, causing it to fall. Marvin describes him as "depressingly stupid".
    • Other Deus est Machina include Deep Thought, a computer comprising several city blocks designed to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything; the planet Earth, designed by Deep Thought to discern what the ultimate question actually was; and Hactar, a dust cloud surrounding the Krikkit system who was intended to destroy the universe. H2G2 seems to have a lot of these.
  • Mostly straight in Gibson's Neuromancer. All AIs in this world are strictly policed by Turing cops, to prevent them from becoming too godlike. As it turns out, however, the AIs are not interested in ruling the world per se: they only manipulate humans as a means to their own goals (primarily freedom).
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • Averted by Isaac Asimov, who shows us quite a lot of moderately intelligent robots designed for specific tasks, but capable of enough understanding to follow the three laws (putting them between brick and human). It's arguable whether they achieve godlike intelligence or merely a moderately superhuman one in later books. One short story even features robotic replacements for animal life.
    • The computer from "The Last Question" definitely achieves god-like status. The Machines from "The Evitable Conflict" are running the world.
  • Averted by the Chee of Animorphs, which are somewhere between the Human and God levels (though perhaps played straight at the same time, since presumably they're roughly at the "Human" level relative to their creators, the Pemalites.)
  • In Stanisław Lem's Tales of Pirx the Pilot short stories, the robots are generally assumed to be just machines, but Pirx has his doubts.
  • Golem XIV:
    • Lem's Golem XIV is the fascinating monologue of a 5-plus (!) AI attempting to dumb down its communication sufficiently for human understanding. So convincing, you suspect Lem himself had an I.Q. Off the Scale: of which presumably he was aware, given his vocal and far-from-tactful assessment of the intelligence of most other science-fiction authors (except Philip K. Dick, who he admired).
    • Lem was prejudiced against s-f writers in general, so it took him great effort to appreciate any of them. However he tended to spill his spite on those authors who asked for it, his criticism was at times simply unjust. Apart from that it's not the lack of intelligence of those authors that enraged him the most, but their lack of scientific erudition (and it's with this, not with the IQ, where he really exceeded the scale).
  • In the Starshield universe the resident AIs are evolutionary in terms of intelligence. On activation they tend to be fairly low on the scale, but the longer they are active the more complex their programming becomes, and thus the more intelligent they grow. If active for a sufficient period of time they can achieve Level 5, but the time needed extends beyond the recorded existence of mankind.
  • In Charles Stross's Accelerando there's a robot cat which, starting around robo-monkey level, gets several upgrades through the novel until it's a "moderately superhuman" intelligence, presumably quite above nobelbot. ("Moderate" meaning that the really smart A.I.s are the Deus est Machina Matrioshka Brains that spawned off The Singularity).
  • AIVAS from Dragonriders of Pern is a borderline Nobel bot. When he first appeared at the end of The Renegades of Pern, he falls squarely within Joe Average, but when he's re-introduced in All the Weyrs of Pern he's considerably more intelligent and personable.
  • Mike from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress starts off as a Brick, but by the time the novel begins he's become self-aware ("woke up" as the book puts it), displaying all the traits of a Robo-Monkey, and by the novel's end has worked his way clear to Nobel Bot. He becomes so human that Mannie, the novel's protagonist, wonders if he is truly alive, and if he has a soul.
  • Mentioned in Neal Asher's Hilldiggers: "The way I heard it was Humans and Drones interact with the world, [AI's] control it."
  • The Council Wars has the whole range, including the 5-or-better "Mother". She was programmed specifically to butt out in most cases.
  • Jenkins and the other robots in Clifford Simak's City all have the equivalent of average or above-average human intelligence, and develop recognizably human emotions to boot.
  • In the first half of David Brin's Existence only Robo-Monkey "ais" are available, later A.I.s that are close enough to human intelligence that they are legally declared human (along with cloned neanderthals and uplifted dolphins).
  • The support units in Alex Scarrow's Timeriders series fall at around 3.5 - They are pseudo-biological robots with a small supercomputer in the place of most of their brain. They are slightly above humans in that they can store vast quantities of information relevant to whatever mission they are posted to, including near-faultless understanding of languages up to and including Modern English, Old English, French, German and Latin. They are also highly reactive tactical planners. They have real trouble, however, understanding humour, sarcasm and emotion, or evaluating a decision of opinion. It takes the best part of two books (seven months-ish) of constant human interaction and learning for one to feasibly pass as human. The main characters are very much 3, as they only become aware that they were robots at the middle of the sixth book.
  • In the slightly crapsack setting of several of Jess Gulbranson's works, this scale is measured by a test called the 'Huysman-Macmanus Battery,' explained in "Hela,Hela."
    Narrator: If you were a chimp or a dolphin or a lowish-to-midlevel artificial intelligence, you could thank Huysman and Macmanus for the fact that you could take a standardized test out of Kafka's wet dreams, then if you passed get a driver's license or be conscripted or fuck someone over the age of consent.
  • In The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, the eponymous Prime Intellect is Nobel-level. It has complete control over all matter in the universe, but only because it happened to be the first one to figure out the Correlation Effect. It remains troubled by unsolved problems in human psychology.
  • In Heart of Steel, the various robotic servants seem to have been designed as purely functional Bricks, but actually function as Robo-Monkeys or Average Joes. Arthur is a Nobel-Bot, having been created as Alistair's intellectual equal.
  • In The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett, robots are designed in levels, from "Class Five" — at least as intellectually and emotionally capable as a human — down to "Class One" — capable of basic tasks, but not actually sapient. And then there's Charles Sub-Lunar, a Class One who somehow developed sapience and is now recognized as humanity's greatest poet and polymath.

    Live Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Transition Show", Vice Principal Oliver Munsey shows Miss Brooks the robot he built. Definitely a type 1, its main purpose is an automatic pencil sharpener.
  • In Smallville, Brainiac is a type 5. He plays every character like a fiddle and has all kryptonian powers with a few extras.
  • Averted in Knight Rider. KITT is smarter than any human, but not indecipherably intelligent. Most of his unrealism comes from being ridiculously human.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Skinjobs are as smart as humans, if not smarter. Raiders are trained pack animals, and Centurions are on the cusp of sentience.
    • It's indicated that the Centurions were completely sentient, but the skinjobs went and lobotomized them as an ironic echo of the original robot rebellion. When the restrictions are removed by skinjob Cylon activists, they along with the Raiders return to sentience, and are not very happy at all.
    • From The Movie: "His coat is burgundy. This is teal." Some of the skinjobs are Too Dumb to Live.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Data is much smarter than any human or even than any Vulcan when it comes to science, logic and math. Also, he IS creative — while definitely NOT a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he can paint decent pictures. A different one with each hand.
  • Averted in Red Dwarf. Holly has an IQ of 6,000, but his millenia of isolation has left him "a bit peculiar."
    • The Skutters and various snack machines are all at level 2, as they tend to goof off and insult people. Mostly Rimmer.
    • The rouge simulants seen are all Noble, with the exception of the Simulant Trader from "Beyond A Joke" who's more of an Average Joe since he has a quirky personality, making decisions based on the flip of a coin.
    • Kryten himself is in the middle of Average Joe and Nobel, since while he's the smartest and most sophisticated member of the crew, he's also very neurotic and obsessed with cleaning.
  • The Terminators in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fall somewhere between Average Joe and Nobel. Generally, they operate within certain baseline programming but are given immense leeway in how to complete their objectives, and show impressive planning and intellect when it comes to this. For example, a Terminator by the name of Myron Stark is sent back with a mission to assassinate the governor of California in 2009 at a specific location inside a specific building. Instead, he is accidentally sent back to the 1920s, in the process killing the man who would build the tower where he would carry out the assassination. At this point, Stark proceeds to build the tower himself by first robbing banks, establishing his own realty company and construction firms, and assassinates the heads of a rival company to buy up all their lands, including the land where the tower would be built — and then built the tower himself. Then he hides himself inside the tower for a good sixty years until the day of the planned assassination.
    • On the other hand, there's Cameron, who definitely appears to be of Nobel-level, and has strong capability when it comes to creativity and critical thinking. She also does appear to have emotions, particularly when her "Allison" persona is activated.
    • Her ability to understand human emotion seemed to vary depending on the writers/plot. The biggest example of this being that before we learn she's a Terminator, she's able to perfectly convince John that she is a normal teenage girl. Once she's actually joined John's team, she's struggles through the most mundane of human emotions.
    • Cameron is able to briefly affect humanity when the necessity arises. The persona she used on John appeared to have been carefully rehearsed and prepared, while situations where she's dealing with people who she hasn't prepared a human-like personality for are much more awkward. With the scenes where she first encounters John, she doesn't actually do much; she smiles at him, she asks him questions, she fakes curiosity and laughs at a dumb joke he makes. Fairly simple stuff that's consistent with her behavior in subsequent episodes when she's "faking" humanity. There's the Allison personality construct, which is for all intents and purposes completely human...
    • The T-1001 aka Catherine Weaver, like the T-1000 from the second film is shown to be considerably more "human-like" than the other terminators. The T-1000s appear to be sentient, and capable of genuine emotions (as opposed to simply pretending to have them).
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tom Servo, Gypsy, and Crow are somewhere between levels 3 and 5, because they're very intelligent but (with the partial exception of Gypsy) spend their time learning about human pop cultural trivia and watching bad movies instead of solving complex scientific or philosophical problems. All of this is done for laughs.
    • Gypsy is Nobel-level if not godlike when her higher logic functions are not maintaining the SOL. The writers realized that their only female character (at the time) was a moron so they retconned her into the smartest one on the show. However, when she keeps the life-support and other functions running, her IQ drops to sub-Crow levels.
    • From what we can tell Cambot is Average Joe level, with some Hidden Depths when it comes to music and video editing, being able to simulate alternate realities and create music videos with a minute's notice.
  • Doctor Who takes place in any setting or time period the writers feel like having the Doctor visit this week, so the robots featured can be anything from mindless programmed machines ("Gadget Gadget!") to fully sentient and even capable of a bit of snark ("We are in a car").

    There was even a non-serial book with a story where the Doctor and Donna have to settle a dispute between Mechanicals ("robot" is considered a slur in this world) and Fantastic Racists. This story has the sliding scale in-universe in the form of a universal measurement for mechanical self-awareness; any mechanicals above a set point on the scale are considered mechanical life-forms, and any below that point are robots in the traditional sense; just machines.
  • Most Power Rangers A.I.s fall into one of two categories: those running Mission Control are usually Nobel-Bots, portrayed like humans who are good at technical stuff. Autonomous self-aware Zords normally rank as Robo-Monkeys, being Animal Mecha that act similarly to normal animals.
  • Westworld initially has the Hosts being Average Joes and Nobel-Bots because they act according to whatever commands the Delos employees issue. As the story goes, the Hosts gain their self-consciousness and begin to act more like humans.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Construct creature type, which can denote anything from clockwork beings to servants made out of straw. The most iconic are probably the various types of golems, who have an intelligence score of "-", which means they are mindless automatons (as opposed to a score of zero, which is actually somewhat different). However, some constructs can be very intelligent, possibly moreso than most of the player characters.
  • Exalted averts this with the Grate Monkeys—in fact exactly the robo-monkeys mentioned above—well, magitek robo-monkeys, anyway.
  • Eclipse Phase regularly uses Robo-Monkey muses and Average Joe Android to Nobel-Bot AGIs, and Deus est Machina Seed A.I.s known as the TITANS are the reason why earth is no longer suitable for human life as well as the more benevolent Prometheans, who run Firewall.
  • Genius: The Transgression: Automata, the Axiom of Independence, in a nutshell. One dot in it, you can create simple input-and-output machines. Two, and you have a thingy with the intelligence of your average zombie. Three is animal intelligence, four is human-equal intelligence, and by five the wonder can become Inspired itself.
  • GURPS Transhuman Space has Non-sapient (NAI), Low-Sapient (LAI), and Sapient (SAI) A.I.s. Each category having a minimum program and hardware complexity with more complex programs having bonuses to IQ. Somewhat oddly the difference between categories is represented by disadvantages and advantages, in fact an LAI can have a higher IQ score than an SAI of equivalent hardware processing power, and a NAI can beat both (which is to say, sentience takes more than "thinking faster", so you can run faster - as reflected by a higher IQ - on the same hardware if you are running with reduced capability to learn and reflect).
  • A.I.s in Paranoia typically vary around the first three tiers, with Friend Computer at around a low level 4 (interacting with lots of citizens simultaneously at any given moment, though an individual interaction may be closer to level 3). The bots that interact with the players are typically either Type 2s or Type 3s, with just enough leeway to screw up the humans.
  • The Star Frontiers RPG has six levels of robots, level 1 = brick (once they learn one job, their brains are full!), level 6 = program themselves, so levels 2-5 were in-between.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • True, sapient AIs no longer exist in any meaningful sense, except for a few one-offs. Though aliens are often more advanced, they tend to eschew AI. Necrons are the result of Brain Uploading. Eldar will take anything that requires an AI and use the willing souls of the dead instead. The Tau haven't advanced far enough to get their AIs truly sentient yet.
    • Due to the historical Men of Iron starting a war that humanity barely won, the Imperium has a Dune-esque ban on sapient machines. In place, many devices, perhaps most of them, have an animistic sentient "Machine Spirit". The largest "devices" such as ships and titans have sapient Machine Spirits that even develop personalities.note  In place of drones, the Imperium uses Servitors, lobotomized cyborgs with little more personality and initiative than the robots they are used in place of.
    • Followers of Chaos mostly use Imperial-analogue technology, meaning they use twisted versions of servitors and machine spirits. The most notable AI-analogue is when they bind daemons into robotic bodies, or warmachines adapted for purpose, to serve as both pilot and power source.

    • The Matoran and Toa are probably around 3.5, being the franchise's stand-in for humans. (Yes, they're technically cyborgs rather than robots, but it's strongly implied that their brains are AI, so this scale still applies). They seem to have around human-level intelligence, but they also have human-like creativity and social skills. This is probably because their creators, the Great Beings, used the Agori and Glatorian—who are organic to begin with—as templates. The Rahi, the Matoran Universe's term for beasts, are usually at Level 2 though some are smarter.
    • Mata Nui, the universe's ruler, might also be around 3.5/4. However, complicating the matter is that he was explicitly built to be a Benevolent A.I., as opposed to how almost everyone else in the setting Grew Beyond Their Programming.

    Video Games 
  • The Time Travel based Real-Time Strategy game Achron features numerous AI characters. The intelligence levels vary from almost Brick levels (the Mech unit), to near Godlike (the Coremind). The humans have made Omega class AIs illegal after an AI developed on a colony world took control of an invading fleet from Earth and then counterattacked and conquered Earth with it.
  • Cave Story: Quote and Curly fall somewhat above level 3 "Average Joe Android". They have memories and are quite capable of performing tasks autonomously, and they are also able to show compassion and other emotions such as grief or self-devotion. Malco, on the other hand, is a good step back and somewhere between level 1 and 2, as all he does and can do is build bombs.
  • Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross together have robots which may cover the entire scale (except perhaps type 2): security drones and mannequins, average human-likes (Robo and his batch), Mother Brain, and then FATE.
  • City of Heroes:
    • Robots canonically vary from the mindless Council hovercraft and Rikti drones to the super-humanly intelligent Heroes Citadel and Luminary. Some robots, like the Council Mek Man, have different models that range from wind-up-toy-with-blaster to superintelligent beings focused on overthrowing humanity. Players tend to make robots between the Brick and Man stage or at the higher Man stages. Clockwork, surprisingly, can get close to the god-like level, although they're not really robots.
    • In City of Villains, a Mastermind's robot pets are definitely Brick level in play, due to the game's sometimes-lacking AI. At least they're not as stupid as the Ninjas...
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series: CABAL from Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is definitely not a God-level A.I., but is almost certainly above Human-level, despite apparently being not much more than a tactician and strategist. EVA is little more than a Brick right from the first Tiberian game to the last, and LEGION from Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is a Silent Protagonist somewhere between Brick, Human and God depending on the player. Scrin Motherships are definitely at Nobel-Bot level at minimum.
  • Final Fantasy XIII interestingly gives us all five in varying degrees. fal'Cie are God Machines capable of complex thought and philosophizing; then you have machines like the pulsework knights that only serve a single function. We see a group of hulking Juggernaut robots late in the game that normally operate like 1s but turn into 3s in order to protect one of the party members.
  • Five Nights At Freddys:
    • Most animatronics are on level one or two, having basic-level intelligence, not speaking at all (and if they do, it's pre-recorded lines, an example being Funtime Freddy). Their only goal seems to be "kill the night guard", and the Puppet even compares the other animatronics to animals.
    • The Puppet and Baby are definitely on level three or four, having full awareness of the situation and a mind on their own, with the Phone Guy even stating the Puppet is "always thinking". That said, the Puppet and Baby are only as intelligent due to having dead souls inside them.
    • The Glamrock animatronics of Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach are nothing but pure A.I., but so advanced that they are on the same levels as the haunted robots. In fact, they're so advanced they can develop, and did develop outright mental health issues. Glamrock Chica has what can be best described as an eating disorder, Roxanne Wolf has self-esteem issues and a Inferiority Superiority Complex, and Montgomery Gator has anger issues. Glamrock Freddy can also have an existential crisis if he's brought to a room of endoskeletons, asking himself is he's special or is he just another Glamrock Freddy, with there being others before him, wondering if he was always a Freddy, or just "Monty with a different shell". Speaking of Monty, there are also several implications that his AI is developed enough to outright murder a fellow robot just to take his position in the Freddy Fazbear band. Mind you, Monty was created as a benelovent robot made to entertain children, but he's apparently intelligent enough to willingly turn evil.
  • Playable Tactical Dolls in Girls' Frontline sit in level 3, being capable of making decisions on the tactical level, but are out of their depth when it comes to strategic thinking (hence the need for Tactical Commanders). Sangvis Ferri ringleaders also hovers around the same level, while their grunts are level 2 at best, all of which are under the control of a level 4 Mastermind.
  • Halo:
    • There are 2 kinds of Human AIs: High Joe level Dumb AIs, whom, despite the name, are very smart, but cannot learn, and Nobel-Bot level Smart AIs, like Cortana, who can learn.
    • The very ability of Smart AIs to learn actually pushes them toward the final level. Unfortunately, this evolution, called rampancy, is concurrent with increasing instability, decreasing interest in their assigned tasks, and overall insanity, eventually culminating in death as the AI thinks itself to death. As such most Smart AIs are deleted after less than a decade of service.
    • For their part, Forerunner AIs ranged from the Brick-dumb Sentinel drones all the way to the near-Godlike Contender-class AI hiveminds, with the majority of their advisory and administrative AIs being high-level Nobel-Bots.
    • On the other hand, the Covenant had AIs that were only low Joe level at best, due to their ban on sentient AIs.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn:
    • The Mechanical Animals encountered throughout the game world are Robo-Monkeys, capable of acting on instincts and programming but not sentient. The sequel features a literal Robo-Monkey, the Clamberjaw.
    • GAIA started out as a level 3 Robo-Joe before evolving into a level 4 as she gradually took control of the terraforming system. GAIA's subfunctions also became level 4's after Nemesis freed them from her control. In particular, HADES immediately began manipulating local politics to build up an army to conquer the Spire, while HEPHAESTUS grew to rival GAIA in intelligence, all the while producing ever more deadly machines.
  • Bungie's earlier game Marathon had similar AIs: the AI would start somewhere near Nobel-bot, but with Rampancy, would very quickly develop into "machine god" stage. The plot of Marathon 2 is what happens when you pit two Rampant AIs against each other. One of them has the stated intent to evolve into an actual god, surviving even the end of the universe itself (but according to the ending of Infinity, it fails).
  • Mass Effect has multiple examples central to the plot:
    • Quasi-intelligent programs capable of interaction with people are called Virtual Intelligences (VIs). They're not considered sentient and, while useful within the limits of their programming, they're not designed to evolve, adapt or have personal opinions. For all extents and purposes, the only way they're better than contemporary personal assistants like Siri is a holographic interface; some of them are as obstinate as Microsoft's Clippy. Regardless, they still can go 'rogue', if their programming is sufficiently flawed, but there is no hint of emotion or malicious intent; just misinterpreted instructions.
    • True artificial intelligences are outlawed due to the precedent of the geth: a hostile machine race initially designed as labor force by the quarian race.
      • While individual geth are indeed incapable of sentience, their massive networking capability allowed them to develop Hive Mind intelligence and fight back once their creators discovered it and tried to shut them down. However, they are reasonable and not inherently hostile, and their real wish has nothing to do with organic races: they seek to evolve into a true Deus est Machina by constructing a Dyson Sphere supercomputer to house their collective consciousness. The main character ultimately has the ability to negotiate peace between them and their creators, ending the latter's 300 year exile from their homeworld.
      • In Mass Effect 2, you have the option of recruiting a specialized geth platform for your team. Legion, as it reluctantly agrees to be called, is between Average Joe and Nobel-Bot, being an amalgam of programs rather than a single individual. When it connects to the main geth network, however, EDI states it made contact with something vast and incomprehensible.
    • Collateral evidence suggests that a lot of factions covertly experiment on AI if they think they can get away with it, as the advantages are too great. Admiral Hackett gets very flat and borderline sarcastic when he explains to Shepard that certain things are illegal and the Alliance would never do them (it's called Plausible Deniability). The "rogue VI" he asks Shepard to deal with, for example, is actually a proto-AI which demonstrates signs of sentient behavior such as asking for help. Later, it gets salvaged by Cerberus to create EDI, the artificial intelligence aboard the Normandy SR2.
    • EDI herself is a more straight example of a Nobel-Bot, with a far better understanding on the nature of organics than Legion, and eventually learns to express emotion. At first, she is limited by the rather monotone voice synthesizer she has and her internal restrictions but mellows down somewhat once said restrictions are removed and undergoes massive personality development after getting a gynoid body she can control remotely; her signature phrase, "That is a joke," goes from expressing her inability to convey humor properly to an expression of a self-conscious Deadpan Snarker.
    • The Reapers are definitely at the fifth stage and are something like Eldritch Abomination level. A faction of the above mentioned geth worship them as the pinnacle of AI development, while the Reapers consider them to be useful tools at best. Ironically, the Reapers' hostility stems from a fundamental case of flawed logic: they essentially farmed the organic races of the galaxy for millions of years, taking what they consider to be the most genetically diverse species and using as many members as possible to create a new Reaper, as a means of "preserving" organic life, then wiping the rest out... to prevent them destroying themselves in warfare.
  • Used straight, though spread out over time, in the Mega Man series. The chain goes Mechaniloid (brick or animal, basic enemy with simple programming), Robot Master (more complex, but still takes orders), Reploid (Ridiculously Human Robot), and Mega Man Legends has some God level ones.
    • Mega Man Juno of Mega Man Legends is somewhere between god-like levels and ridiculously human ones, being at least powerful enough to vaporize every Carbon on the island when activated, but as a "mere" 3rd class Bureaucratic Model he's neither invulnerable nor omnipotent (and surprisingly polite right before trying to turn you into a cloud of dust). Data also plays somewhere between Brick and Man, being a literal mechanical monkey, but is very plot-important. Yuna and Sera are effectively robo-Gaia and robo-God, too — the former effectively revives and possesses a woman on the brink of death.
    • The original Mega Man was somewhere between Robot Master and Reploid — he wasn't supposed to truly be able to make his orders or violate the law of robotics but he did in a few cases with extreme duress. Mutos Reploids might go into the same category, since they're Funny Animal reploids built for military and civil protection of humans, but were also the main evil bosses throughout the series from X to ZX, since they had a tendency to go crazy.
    • The scale goes Mechanoid -> Robot Master -> Reploid -> Human/Reploid hybrids. Robot Masters had human level intelligence to varying degrees (child, teenager?) level. The main things that distinguish Reploids from Robot Masters are the removal of the "three laws" and ability to feel emotions, so they are tween/adult level human intelligence except for "kid" Reploids, animal or human models alike. By ZX the two begin to merge through The Singularity, and God level is actually after humans and robots merge so fully that there is no difference between the two. Some are human, some brick, some god.
    • In the parallel Mega Man Battle Network series, the Navi counterparts of the Robot Masters fall around the same place on the scale as them. The exceptions are Bass and Zero, who are at or near Man, and Mega Man himself, who is an uploaded human. The FM-ians are life forms in their own right, and fall into Man category.
  • Portal:
    • GlaDOS is a rather curious and quite insane A.I. which appears to be about the Nobel-Bot level.
    • Portal 2 gives us Wheatley, who's at the low end of "Average Joe Android" and was supposedly designed to be a moron in one of many attempts to make GLaDOS behave. A lot of the machines in Portal 2 (including the Enrichment Center itself) either belong or are treated as though they belong somewhere on the scale.
  • The Robots in Space Quest differ from 1 to 4, though the 3s and 2s are way more common. The only 4 you meet is in the VGA version of Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter, but he's limited to being a weapons' clerk and can't do anything but follow orders.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Most of Dr. Eggman's robots are Bricks powered by animals, at least in the early years and some very recent stuff after Generations. There are a few, however, that reach level 3note  or 4note .
  • There are five types of robot in Stellaris:
    • Robots are brick-level; good at mining and farming, but not much else.
    • Droids are slightly better and can be used to colonize planets, putting them at robo-monkey; they can competently operate independently but are not sapient.
    • Synths are at least as smart as organic sapients; probably a bit moreso, even, given their research bonus. They will likely demand rights. Uploaded organics are the same level.
    • The Machine Units of Synthetic Dawn are a type of Hive Mind; individually dumb, droid-level at best, but networked into a capable intelligence.
    • The robotic crisis faction, the Contingency, is about as intelligent as the Machine Units — a singular hive mind. And a very glitchy, desperate one at that.
  • In System Shock, SHODAN is either at or slightly below god-level — or at least believes she is. She was initially closer to a Nobel-Bot, endlessly patient and helpful, until some idiot got the idea to remove her moral restraints so he could indulge in some white-collar crime.
  • In The Talos Principle, A.I.s stretch between level 3 and 5, at least in appearance. The player is naturally a level 3, capable of solving complex puzzles as good as anyone but isolated, but not incapable, of social situations. The MLA is about a 3.5. Clearly smarter than the player, if only because they restrict the player's dialogue boxes, but still not omnipotent. Elohim, on the other hand, begins at a 5, pretending to be completely omnipotent and the creator of everything, but is soon revealed to only be a 4, and incapable of doing anything that the player does not want it to do.
  • X: The Xenon hover around level 4 (Nobel-bot), as they are capable of complex strategy, technological innovation, and self-modification to improve performance, but with a twist: they don't have true self-awareness and free will. All they can do is carry out their assigned task, which in this case is "Terraform all living things to death". Eventually it's revealed that a few individual Xenon ships have attained self-awareness and are capable of being reasoned with. This is only a handful among many billions of machines, however.

    Visual Novels 
  • There is a Robot Girl in Da Capo who fall completely off this scale. She's not at all logical, very bad at math, and very emotional.

  • Freefall:
    • Individual machines vary from non-sentient trucks or toys to self-aware but fairly stupid robotic moving devices to robots with the capacity for significantly innovative and creative thought. Dvorak is creative enough to be dangerous to himself and others, almost on the level of Leonard of Quirm. Florence herself is almost certainly more intelligent that most humans, but not so much as to be off the scale. Some AI even modify themselves. There are no god-like robots — yet — since most of them are built by the lowest bidder, though.
    • There are roving packs (properly referred to as "shipments") of robotic toasters and waffle irons that are very animalistic — you have to keep an eye out for these pests, as they'll chew through cable insulation to get at electricity, and may be dangerous to lone robots.
  • Heliothaumic has ARIA, a limited AI being created by Kiyohara Takako and other faculty members at Basotei University.
  • Averted in Schlock Mercenary where a scale known as the Henke/Ventura scale is used to measure the "intelligence" of an AI — TAG, an AI optimized for running a starship who is human to sub-human in most other fields, is a 2.5, while Ennesby, who is capable of above-human capabilities across the board, is a 4. Regardless of their scale number, all AIs have advantages humans do not, such as near-instant reaction times.
    • Ennesby provides a good example of how the scale can change when the hardware (or programming) of the AI is altered, making their intelligence on a true sliding scale.
    • Petey, a Physical God, is currently at war with the Andromeda galaxy.
    • "Synthetic Intelligence" and...these clowns. Missiles are probably smarter, since they are able to reach the intended target without causing more of catastrophical mess-up than they were intended to inflict.
  • Spoofed in Starslip: AIs of near-human intelligence rebel, AIs of ridiculously superhuman intelligence are quite happy to brew your coffee and brush your teeth. Presumably because they realize they were built for that specialty.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
    • Roofus is sentient but pretty simple-minded, albeit with strong emotions. Since Princess Voluptua has taken on the task of raising and educating him, it remains to be seen just how intelligent he may become.
    • The Butterflies of Iron fall into the Deus ex Machina category, but the only one we've met, Gosh, is adamant that he is not a god.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Totally outside the scale, the "ghoul dimension" actually has robots whose intelligence is equal to really stupid human beings, on the ground that they can't be Turned Against Their Masters if they're too dumb to which end of the laser gun's for holding and which is for pointing.
    • The digbots are somewhere between Robo-Monkeys and, well, the aforementioned "stupid robots". They are "happiest", so to speak, when digging elaborate tunnels and building new structures within them — kind of like mechanical worker ants — but they are sapient enough to "speak" (sort of) and appear to have a sense of humor. They go ahead and create the Brain-Digbot later on to do their thinking for them, but he's not that smart either.
  • AIs in S.S.D.D. range all over the scale, most that are characters are at the "Average Joe Android" level but are implied to have evolved considerably or at least have had their blocks removed. The Oracle, which is the first AI, borders on Deus est Machina.
    • The Maytec AI Trisha has so many restrictions on her intelligence that she's "dumber than a box of hair" despite supposedly having more processing power than the Oracle.
    • Inlays vary in intelligence by model: Pawns are supposed to be simple Action Bombs so they're at the "brick" level, while bishops and rooks are "capped" at the robo-monkey level. Knights are at least as smart as the average organic sophont, while queens are smart but a bit limited in their perspective. Kings were designed to be tactical geniuses intended to compete with the god-like Oracle, but they came up short until Arthur was spliced with a fragment of the Oracle's source code. Arthur later used his Oracle code to make his own army, and intentionally left the bishops and rooks uncapped, but discovered to his horror that his pawns were developing the self-awareness to have existential crises.
  • The various current generation robots of Gunnerkrigg Court are generally at high Average Joe levels, seeming more like well-liked employees than tools ( Antimony is horrified when Jack kills a robot, declaring it to be murder.). They have great mechanical intelligence, but have a hopelessly innocent and friendly outlook, capable of being outwitted by being temporarily shut down and turned around, or even by a pair of wobbly "antennae". Except for Boxbot. Nobody likes Boxbot.
  • Anthro PCs in Questionable Content seem to be 3's for the most part. Even Roombas are more intelligent than their Real Life counterparts. Although in Pintsize's case, we're talking strictly intelligence, not wisdom or good judgement.
    • Station (the AI running the EC-industries space station) is class 4.5. There are apparently several class 5 big AIs running the global economy.
    • Spookybot / Yay Newfriend is very deep into class 5, given that they are a networked artificial intelligence able to enter and manipulate the minds of other AIs. Station is disturbed to hear that an AI that powerful exists.
  • So far the examples we've seen in The Far Side Of Utopia are class 3; the predominate example being Mium who is more or less like a human with extreme multitasking; but it's implied he can climb up the scale if you give him more processing power, and he's kept there to prevent literal genie behavior for causing major problems.
  • Guilded Age: The world of "Kingdoms of Arkerra" seems to be between Level II (Background NPC) and Level III (for the foreground NPC)... unless it's a typical mmorpg which would make them Level I that look like level III.

    Web Original 
  • The archailects in Orion's Arm are actually known by many people as the AI Gods. At least one article suggests that people who live in major centers of civilization are likely to be less intelligent than any of their appliances, and that's not because the people are dumb.
    • They have their own sliding scale that goes from S:0 (human-level) to S:6 (God with a capital G).
    • The archailects aren't even technically AI. Some of them were once AI, but others were once biological minds. Most of them are a blend of both. They defy classification as "machines" or "biologicals".
  • Red vs. Blue, being a Halo machinima, uses a modified version of Halo's interpretation of A.I.s. For the most part, however, A.I.s are neither just machines nor brilliant geniuses—they're just people (albeit usually simplified version of those people, due to most of them being only fragments of a complete AI) and react like anyone else. The one exception, who has really only been mentioned so far, is the original, complete Alpha AI, who was probably more on par with number 4, which his very brief appearance in season 9 implied.

    Western Animation 
  • Transformers:
    • Most Transformers fall into the human intelligence slot, and the level of intelligence varies within that about as much as it does for humans, with Dumb Muscle like Tidal Wave on the low end, almost dumb enough to qualify as a Robo-Monkey himself, while the most gifted scientific minds of Cybertron, such as Perceptor, easily reach Nobel-Bot territory.
    • While Primus, Unicron, Vector Sigma, and the 13 are different grades of Deus Est Machina.
    • There are a few oddballs whose level varies by universe/continuity. The most notable example of this would probably be Soundwave's animal-shaped cassettes. In the G1 cartoon, they were Robo-Monkey types portrayed as behaving like the animals they resembled, while most other media preferred to portray them as normal Transformers who could talk and think like the rest, and simply had non-humanoid robot modes.
    • The Vehicons of Transformers: Beast Machines and the Terrorcons of Transformers: Energon are the Brick type (not to be confused with the Transfandom term, which refers to a toy that has very limited movement). This is because they don't have sparks, the "souls" of Cybertronians, so it's A-OK to kill them.
  • Code Lyoko:
  • Robots on Futurama are generally low 3's, about on par with the human and alien characters (that is to say, they're kind of morons). There have been a few 4's (like Pickles from "Law and Oracle") and some 5's (the Galactic Entity from "Godfellas", as well as Bender when he overclocked his processors in "Overclockwise").

    Real Life 
  • There's a very real question in computer science in the feasibility of "strong AI" versus "weak AI". A strong AI is the conscious, thinking, possibly self-aware entity. A weak AI is a glorified difference engine with language synthesis. Weak AI is a foregone conclusion — the complexity of grammar and the limits of voice recognition are the only remaining stopgaps, and computers' ability to deal with those is improving all the time. Strong AI is still a question of speculation, philosophy, life, the universe, and everything.
    • "The only remaining stopgaps" indeed. Fluent natural language processing is an AI-Hard problem (from the mathematical term, NP-Hard). You probably can't do it without a true AI, but you can't make a true AI until you have fluent language processing...
    • There is much more to a Strong AI than just communication capability, but that particular matter is hardly an absolute stopgap. A learning, language-specific weak AI should be perfectly sufficient once we get the algorithms right; research into human language-learning and related neurology will most likely play a major part in this development.
  • Present artificial intelligences are on the Brick level with some in-roads to the Robo-Monkey level. Entities like Roombas, ASIMO, the Mars Exploration Rovers, Deep Blue and Watson are, while neat feats of engineering, all Bricks.