Explanation of origin and flash cloning

This article contains spoilers for Halo episode 2.

The AI ​​named Cortana is one of the most important characters in Halo, and the TV show adapts its creation in a remarkably faithful way. When the players were introduced to the Master Chief in 2001 Halo: Advanced Combat, it basically came as part of a package; an artificial intelligence named Cortana was plugged into his systems, serving as a crucial advisor and asset as he explored an ancient Halo Ring. Over the years, Cortana would grow into a three-dimensional character in her own right – though she wouldn’t remain an ally to the Master Chief.


Cortana is an incredibly intelligent artificial intelligence, whose data chip can be transferred between different systems, which means she can pilot a spaceship, cooperate with John-117’s Mjolnir armor, infiltrate a Covenant network or even connect to Forerunner networks. Like all intelligent AIs, overall Halo timeline Cortana has a limited lifespan before her coding begins to break down and she goes insane – a fate called “rampance.“Unfortunately, Cortana’s rise to power is accelerated by the amount of data she absorbs through interaction with Covenant and Forerunner technology.

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Cortana is such an important character for Halo as Master Chief himself. She hasn’t really made her presence felt on Paramount + yet. Halo TV series, however, because Season 1 feels like some sort of origin story; Dr. Halsey is still conducting illegal and unethical experiments that will ultimately lead to the creation of Cortana. But, while Dr. Halsey’s process seems remarkably faithful to the original canon, there are hints that this version of Cortana will be a little different.

How Cortana is Created in Halo Video Games

In the original version Halo timeline of the game, Cortana is a unique AI based on Dr. Halsey – the creator of the Spartan program – herself. Dr. Halsey may be one of the UNSC’s greatest scientists, but she’s also deeply selfish, and naturally she became interested in the idea of ​​creating an AI based on her own brain patterns. This is possible using a technique called Cognitive Impression Modeling, which performs in-depth analyzes of a so-called “giver“brain to create an AI according to its models. Unfortunately, the CIM is a dangerous process, because it destroys the brain of the donor. Halsey was, understandably, not willing to die to create Cortana.

So Dr. Halsey took another approach, creating an illegal flash clone of herself. Flash clones are exact copies of a living human being, even retaining memories of the original. Unfortunately, these duplicates only have a limited lifespan, with their bodies breaking down in six months to a year. Dr. Halsey had already mastered flash cloning as part of her controversial Spartan program, as she kidnapped potential recruits as children and replaced them with flash clones so parents wouldn’t know what had happened. pass. Halsey created over 20 AIs based on flash clones, but only two were successful – Cortana and her predecessor Kalmiya.

Cortana’s Origin In The Halo TV Show Explained

Dr. Halsey and Cortana Clone Pod in Halo Episode 1

the Halo TV series are, for the most part, remarkably accurate in a broad sense Halo the franchise tradition; however, there is a significant difference. In fgeneral Halo timeline, intelligent AIs are quite common, with many UNSC coordination bases such as Reach or running starships. Even the insurgents used intelligent artificial intelligence, with one being responsible for maintaining the rubble, controlling the movement of its many asteroids to maintain it. On the other hand, in the Halo Intelligent AIs from TV shows don’t seem to exist yet; it seems Spartan creator Dr. Halsey is a pioneer in this field, who wrote a paper suggesting intelligent AI could be created by duplicating a person’s brain patterns via flash cloning. the Halo The TV show’s Cortana will therefore be the first of its kind, and possibly the only intelligent AI seen in the entire show. That means her existence will be even more isolated – but it also means the UNSC won’t know what to expect of her. She may not even know that it’s possible that absorbing too much data will damage her coding and cause her to go wild.

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Dr. Halsey also seems to have a much more ambitious view of Cortana’s potential. She sees Cortana as the solution to the perceived problem of Spartan independence; Right now, the Spartans are carefully controlled by chemical pills they ingest to manage their emotions and thought processes, but the Master Chief’s encounter with a Forerunner artifact means those techniques no longer work on him. However, Dr. Halsey had foreseen this potential problem and viewed the pills as a temporary measure to control his Spartans. Cortana and her fellow intelligent AIs are her ultimate solution, binding the Spartans to her will. At this point, it’s unclear if Dr. Halsey imagines implanting Cortana into the Mjolnir armor, like in the main timeline, or if she actually imagines superimposing her AI consciousness onto the Master Chief’s own brain patterns.

Why Flash Cloning Humans Is Illegal in Halo

Halo Dr. Halsey

There are clearly no ethical boundaries that Dr. Halsey doesn’t want to break, rationalizing his actions as necessary to ensure his race’s survival in the war between man and covenant. In the case of flash cloning, his experiments are dangerously unethical and also highly illegal – flash cloning is generally considered a medical procedure, to create duplicate organs that will not be rejected by a body, but cloning flash of complete human beings is strictly prohibited and compared to possession of illegal drugs. This is probably because a full flash clone retains consciousness, but has a very short lifespan – and will inevitably suffer an excruciating, long and painful death. Some parents of Spartan recruits suspected that the UNSC had kidnapped their children and replaced them; they were seen as conspiracy theorists, but that will only have heightened ethical concerns about the technology.

Dr. Halsey used flash cloning to cover up the abduction of the Master Chief and his fellow Spartans. In Cortana’s case, however, she uses technology in an unprecedented way – creating a duplicate of her own brain so she can shape what she selfishly sees as the next evolutionary stage of the human mind. It will be interesting to see if Cortana herself approves of Dr. Halsey’s actions when she becomes fully conscious in Halo.

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