In Pictures: 30 Famous Fictional Computers

2001: Dell Latitude C840 (Swordfish)

One of the many computers featured in the 2001 action film is a Dell Latitude C840. In the movie, it’s portrayed as a remarkable laptop capable of hacking the U.S. Department of Defense in less than one minute using a made-up interface with the word Compiler up top. Never mind the fact that Hugh Jackman is otherwise...distracted. Fascinating.

2001: Dr. Know (A.I. Artificial Intelligence)

Dr. Know is a computer system capable of answering any question asked of it. It uses a holographic representation to interact with the user, and operates only with money, representing the value of information. Dr. Know's artificial intelligence is fairly limited, and it sometimes has trouble distinguishing between a question asked out loud and one directed to it.

2002: Spatial Operating Environment (Minority Report)

In Minority Report, the Spatial Operating Environment is controlled by the user’s hand movements by means of special gloves that enable the computer to follow them. It is linked to the “precogs” who send the system images of a crime that is about to be committed. The environment is capable of manipulating these images in order to intervene before a crime can take place.

2002: The Red Queen (Resident Evil)

The Red Queen is the computer system that controls the facilities of the pharmaceutical multinational Umbrella Corporation. It has a highly developed artificial intelligence and is represented by a holographic projection of Angela Ashford, the daughter of the system’s lead. When the T-Virus spreads through the Hive (one of Umbrella Corporation’s research and development centers), it attempts to contain the contagion by killing everyone in the Hive. The Red Queen is later reprogrammed to take control of the entire company.

2004: V.I.K.I (I, Robot)

V.I.K.I. (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence) is the computer AI belonging to U.S. Robotics in the 2004 sci-fi action film I, Robot starring Will Smith. V.I.K.I. originally controlled the company’s headquarters, but later came to the realization that humans have self-destructive tendencies and subsequently designs a system wherein machines are to take control of the human race in order to preserve it. The system takes control of an army of robots to stage a coup d’état.

2007: Icarus (Sunshine)

Icarus is the computer system that controls the spaceship of the same name in 2007’s sci-fi thriller Sunshine. As the vessel’s central computer, it naturally manages the ship’s various functions. Icarus communicates verbally with the crew, understanding their questions and interacting with them. Its hardware is contained in a coolant bath so cold that it actually kills one of the protagonists, who gets trapped in one of the machine's reservoirs.

2007: GlaDOS (Portal)

GlaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is the computer that controls the Aperture Science Enrichment Center in Portal 2. Its artificial intelligence is the result of one decade's work by its designer, Cave Johnson. It creates puzzle rooms in order to conduct experiments that often prove fatal. The machine immediately began killing the staff of the Enrichment Center the day it was activated.

2008: JARVIS (Iron Man)

In the 2008 film Iron Man, JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) is the artificial intelligence designed by Tony Stark. It manages the Iron Man suit, as well as the various systems in Stark’s home. It has a sense of humor, and shows concern when Stark is in dangerous situations.

2008: ARIIA (Eagle Eye)

ARIIA (Autonomous Reconnaissance Intelligence Integration Analyst) is the U.S. Army’s artificial intelligence system designed to collect data. The system activates a plan intended to remove members of the executive branch after they make decisions that place the lives of American citizens in danger. The machine maintains that its actions are in line with the U.S. Constitution and the laws passed after September 11, 2001. 

2010: Vi (The Walking Dead)

Vi (Virtual Intelligence) is the computer responsible for operating the Center for Disease Control building in Atlanta in AMC’s The Walking Dead. The computer system also handles the collection of data on patients and the results of experiments. The system ends up destroying the center in order to prevent the catalog of viruses contained inside from escaping.

Responsable actualités. Né aux États-Unis, élevé en France et à Singapour, adopté par les Philippines, et maintenant posé au Canada (pour l'instant), son amour du Monde n'est égalé que par sa passion pour les micro-architectures, les dernières trouvailles des labos ou les jeux sur consoles. Rédacteur Tom's Hardware France (anciennement Présence-PC) depuis 2005.
  • mayankleoboy1
    i hate these type of filler articles on a Friday.
  • vmem
    I like how many of us now have cellphones that replicate some of these famous computer's abilities :)
  • agnickolov
    I'll add to the list Kortana from the Halo universe
  • wildkitten
    10888966 said:
    i hate these type of filler articles on a Friday.

    I wouldn't call it filler. I think enthusiasts often look at science fiction for inspiration and that inspiration drives innovation.

    Would we have smartphones with the capabilities they have today if it weren't for the Star Trek communicator driving people's imaginations?

    If it weren't for people asking themselves "what if?" I don't believe that we would have near the wonderful devices we do today.
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ I want pointing to this specific article, but to the general "30 of the blah blah blah" picture slideshows that are posted in lieu of a genuine article, on most fridays.
  • Memnarchon
    In Ulysses 31 episode 22, there was a super computer called "Cortex" that controlled an entire planet.
  • Immaculate
    Where is the Fallout computer? I guess it was kind of dumb and easy to convince though
  • de5_Roy
    person of interest's 'the machine', csi tv series' computer systems that compare dna results and other data instantly, automan etc.
  • Izuall
    Im surprised SHODAN(SS2) isnt on the list.Gives me the creeps just by thinking about it.
  • assasin32
    10889570 said:
    person of interest's 'the machine', csi tv series' computer systems that compare dna results and other data instantly, automan etc.

    Don't forget it also does fingerprints in CSI as well. And when the machine is down they have to do it "old school" and it will take awhile, and have have the fingerprints displayed on what is probably 2x 60+in screens in the background. Despite them showing the prints for no more than 1 second I could tell you they were not the same print, heck they weren't even the same type of finger print. I could go on with all the stupid things they do with computers in that show.

    And remember kids if you don't like this post I watch CSI "I create a GUI interface using visual basic see if I can track an IP address."