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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

TechnoCore  
  A group of artificial intelligences with vast resources and the entirety of human dataspheres to access.  

"The TechnoCore has been divided into three groups for as long as the Core has existed," said Johnny. "The Stables are the old-line AIs, some of them dating back to pre-Mistake days; at least one of them gained sentience in the First Information Age. The Stables argue that a certain level of symbiosis is necessary between humanity and the Core. They've promoted the Ultimate Intelligence Project as a way to avoid rash decisions, to delay until all variables can be factored. The Volatiles are the force behind the Secession three centuries ago. The Volatiles have done conclusive studies to show that humankind's usefulness is past and from this point on human beings constitute a threat to the Core. They advocate immediate and total extinction."

"Extinction," I said. After a moment I asked, "Can they do it?"

"Of humans in the Web, yes," said Johnny. "Core intelligences not only create the infrastructure for Hegemony society but are necessary for everything from FORCE deployment to the failsafes on stockpiled nuclear and plasma arsenals..."

"Between the Stables and the Volatiles are the Ultimates. For the past five centuries the Ultimates have been obsessed with the UI [Ultimate Intelligence} project. To this date, they have been a force for moderation, an ally of the Stables, because it is their perception that such reconstruction and retrieval projects as the Old Earth experiment are necessary to the culmination of the UI.

From Hyperion, by Dan Simmons.
Published by Doubleday in 1989
Additional resources -

Compare to the City Fathers from Cities in Flight (1957) by James Blish, the Big Computer, from Millennium, by John Varley, the Vulcan 3 computer from Vulcan's Hammer (1960) by Philip K. Dick, Mike from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) by Robert Heinlein, and (for fun) Gigagnostotron from The Cyberiad (1965) by Stanislaw Lem.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Hyperion
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