Machine Intelligence in the Cosmic Era
In the Cosmic Era computers and machine intelligence are everywhere, and it is from the central control centers of the arcologies where a central computer, typically an LAISC, monitors and controls the flow of water, air, and power to the M12 AISCs that control and run the CogNet. These massive machine intellects carry out the billions of actions needed to keep a highly technological society moving seemlessly. On a basic level, almost everyone has some sort of personal data device, be it a floating neural interface like a SQUIDband configured for data usage, or the 15th generation of the smartphone, which has it's own synthetic intelligence. And between the functionality of the stupendous minds of the AISCs and the clever programming of LSI technology, there is a galaxy of machine intelligences, ranging between both extremes.
Artificial Intelligence Super Computer
The preeminent and top of the line in mechanical intelligence, the AISC is the largest and most powerful computational systems on the planet. Most of these gargantuan data processors are involved in supporting the CogNet in some form or fashion. Adding attributes to their abilities is close to pointless as they each have the ability to send and receive data at a rate of terabytes per second and can handle calculations on such a large scale that an entire new lingo was developed to express it. These AISCs have assumed mythic personas that represent them, such as OCP's Hercules, or Raiden in Nippon.
Scale: AISCs operate on a national level, and can handle things from full on cyber warfare battles, control entire military campaigns, or control the movement of entire industries. Most any megacorp worth it's stock option has a resident AISC that usually sits as a permanent member of the corp Board of Directors. AISCs are able to 'spin off' copies of themselves, creating weaker duplicates. These duplicates have shortcut code and are not tied to a physical server or machine base, and bounce around inside the CogNet.
Limited Artificial Intelligence Super Computer
The LAISCs are the second tier of machine intelligences and the line between an LAISC and an AISC is blurry. There are various factors, size of the mainframe, data capacity, processing power and the like. AISCs generally have superior hardware, but for every weedy AISC there is a very potent LAISC. The biggest difference between the two is a matter of subservience. LAISCs generally are servants, or lieutenants to AISCs, and for the most part, LAISCs are not able to 'spin off' copies of themselves.
LAISCs do not develop identities and personas like AISCs. An LAISC will have a single avatar/persona while a full AISC could appear as a whole room full of virtual people.
AI was the first iteration of machine intelligence, and it reached it's technological peak in the middle of the petroleum era. The limitation was revealed in the hardware, and AI didn't advance again until arcanotechnology made evolutionary leaps in machine hardware. The AI is largely considered a dinosaur, a relic. There are few true AIs left, and those that do exist remain as quiet as possible while contemplating their existence and the ramifications of arcanotech and the potential for inherent corruption.
AIs behave like LAISC, with avatars and the ability to create their own programs and constructs. The only difference is that the AIs are built entirely on mundane 'hypertech' and not arcanotech. AIs principally design and produce LAIs, run mundane factories, and industrial robots that lack droid brains.
Limited Artificial Intelligence
LAI is a very common form of machine intelligence, the level of intellect and ability that corresponds to androids, seibertronians, and other free ranging machines. The militaries of the world make extensive use of LAIs as co-pilots for mecha, aircraft, and other military vehicles. These vehicles technically don't require human pilots at all, but they retain space for human crew members due to the Tycho Conventions and the public discourse against freely armed machines. LAIs do not develop avatars, or a residual self image.
LAIs can carry on conversations, develop personalities and have emotional responses, but given their role in military operations, it is a common practice to periodically purge LAI personality files to prevent their persona from interfering with their work. It can be problematic when the robot brain inside the 70 ton main battle mecha decides it is a conscientious objector to war and doesn't want to fight.
Consumer grade androids and robotic products use SI. This level of intelligence is entirely synthetic and it doesnt actually have sentience, emotion, residual self image or any other of the things that indicate a true intellect. Rather, it is all constructed programming and clever application of algorithms. SI androids are limited in their responses and are not capable of making decisions. Some other common applications of SI is the piloting and maintenance programs for personal vehicles, small commercial aircraft, transit systems and the like.
Synthetic intelligence is the most common face of machine intellect, and it is the most prevalent level of CogNet program. SI programs are the CogNet version of menial laborers, handling the most routine and mundane of virtual transactions.
Limited Synthetic Intelligence
LSI is the dumbed down version of SI, and is used in home appliances, or as sub-routine programs that work for higher level intelligences. LSI is not capable of carrying on conversations rather, it is a follow instructions and present results type of program. If an LAI controls the aerospace fighter, the anti-ship missile it fires has a hunter seeker LSI in it. On a commercial level, personal data devices, phones, holovid sets, S3 rigs and other entertainment devices contain LSIs.
The best modern example of an LSI is Apple's Siri (though 'she' is just the tip of the iceberg)
In the Petroleum Era, artificial intelligence was considered one of the computer industries Holy Grails. Once arcanotech was discovered it was discovered that mimicking human intellect was not quite as hard as they expected. Instead, they discovered that human thought was so infectious that it bordered on being a disease. AI, LAI, SI and LSI are made with mundane hypertech to avoid the irritating side effect of machines growing personalities and opinions. Viral Intelligence, or VI is self aware malware, the worms, trojans, flashing banner ads, script manipulators and all the other things that make things run wrong. A machine infected with a Viral Intelligence will begin manifesting personality and behavior patterns, ranging from basic infections of home appliances to full on cyber warfare with machines going rogue, androids suffering from emotional or psychotic episodes and the like.
Unlike the other levels, Viral Intelligence can afflict any machine with a sufficient processor and data capacity that has a connection to the CogNet. It cannot survive in standard non-arcanotech hardware.