Artificial intelligence is the term for intelligence in a manufactured rather than evolved or genetically engineered being. Degrees of sophistication ran from simple computer programs to artificial sentience.
The development of true machine-based intelligence predates the founding of the Galactic Republic. The identity of the first artificially sentient automaton is not known, but such constructs are now commonplace–droids, starship control systems and even portable holocommunication devices all rely on advanced “learning computer” technology to serve their masters. The level of artificial intelligence programmed into a droid is represented by its degree classification, which is rated on a scale ranging from “5″ for menial labor units to “1″ for the most advanced medical droids. Although most artificial intelligences are programmed to preserve biological life and obey their masters’ orders, certain mechanical beings like the HK-series assassin droids are deliberately programmed for destruction.