I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream
The story would go on to win the Hugo Award in and has since appeared in numerous collections, including horror anthologies, and is now widely considered to be amongst the best sci-fi short stories ever written. Only five people remain — four men and one woman. Not survivors, but prisoners — or rather playthings — of AM, kept captive right in the belly of the beast, the bowels of this insane computer, and kept alive only to be subjected to eternal torment by AM and torture in an endless sequence of sadistic violence. And at the root of all this lies the human penchant for war. During World War Three, which just kept on going, China, Russia and America each built an supercomputer to take care of the strategies of war. But AM was angry.
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It was first published in March of and won the Hugo Award in The story takes place over a hundred years after the near-complete destruction of humanity. As the war progresses, the three warring nations each create a super-computer capable of running the war more efficiently than humans. The machines are each referred to as "AM," which originally stood for "Allied Mastercomputer," then later called "Adaptive Manipulator", and still later "Aggressive Menace". One day, one of the three computers becomes self aware, and promptly absorbs the other two, thus taking control of the entire war. It then brings about the mass genocide of all but five people, and redefines its name as "I think, therefore I AM".