Artifical Intelligence defines any computer systems which can learn, adapt, and serve any number of purposes which can take the place of a human. AI systems have developed to be mostly innocuous in the Prosperan Republic, with overall limitations on exactly how far and how intelligently a computer system can be developed.
Ships all have an onboard AI, relative to how advanced the electronics are. However, Prospector law dictates that AI can only be developed past a certain point on an 'intelligence scale', which varies from 1 to A, 1 being a glorified calculator and A being Prospector-level reasoned intelligence.
1 - Calculator
2 - Large-number processing computer
3 - Multi-core home computers that can do a variety of assigned tasks
4 - Simple pre-programmed AI computers
5 - 'Learning' computers which adapt based on inputs, but cannot do inputs itself
6 - AI which can operate independently a programmed task and can self-correct to increase efficiency
7 - AI which can do a specific field of assigned tasks, understand, self-correct, and can be told to do new things based on ad hoc verbal explanation. Additionally, the AI can be put into a new environment and will adapt its code to suit the new place, and can adjust, though cannot improve.
8 - AI which can adapt and learn on their own, and self-improve. Self-improvement (ie, eventual graduation on its own to levels 9 and 10) is the key to being 8 rather than 7.
9 - Emotions.
A - Self-awareness.
AI across the Republic is limited at 6. Ship computers rarely breach 4. Prospectors occasionally build AI systems that break this limit. Only two AI have been built, both by Sizouse, which breaks this limit, the first of which was the Reaver in 968RE. Because of the Reaver, Prospectors limited themselves to not breaching a 9. More recently, the AI MAROS was designed in 2800RE, allegedly reaching a 9. It was active in the Third Rebellion, acting with Ambrosia against its creators.
It is rumored that some Strike Suit onboard computers breach these limits, Strike Suit Shamhat reportedly having an A AI. However, only Ambrosia could speak with it, and it only outwardly appeared to be at most a 7, so most theories are conjecture. If true, this appears to be a side effect of access to the Frisian Field, also reported to be a facet of the Prospector's power.