The Machines are a highly advanced population of sentient artificial intelligences. In the far future that is Earth in the Matrix trilogy, the Machines have become the dominant intelligence after they conquer humanity and imprison most of them in a neural-interactive virtual world known as the Matrix.
While the term is used collectively by the human resistance of Zion to describe their oppressive enemy, the Machine community is comprised of two types:
- Mechanical entities
Programs appear as human or humanoid beings within the confines of the Matrix. They may be embued with special abilities to enhance their function. Programs can transfer into and out of the Matrix to the Source or to less unofficial constructs such as Mobil Station. Unless a program reveals its true nature to a Zion operative, it is impossible for any human (except The One) to distinguish between programs from bluepills. Examples of notable programs within the Matrix include Agents, the Merovingian, the Oracle, and the Architect.
Mechanical entities exist in the real world to maintain the functions of 01, the Machine City. Some are programmed as soldiers and other offensive/defensive tools, others maintain the power plant and the sleeping humans quietly entombed there. Examples of notable mechanical entities include Sentinels, Docbots, and the Deus Ex Machina.
All Machine entities are designed with a specific purpose. The Machine entity will continue to exist until such time as they have completed their tasks, are damaged, or obsolete. Some programs have been known to go into exile, attempting to hide from Agents, who are programmed to terminate obsolete fugitive programs in addition to their other duties.
- ↑ The term "mechanical entity" is descriptive for the purposes of definition on The Matrix Wiki and is not canonical with the film series.