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Will AI Give You Superpowers? We Have Checked For You!

How Many Superheroes Are or Use AI?

The prophecy of AI granting us superpowers is a common refrain among AI evangelists. In the spirit of November 11th, the start of the German carnival season, we’ve decided to rigorously test this bold assertion.

To do so, we’ve plunged into the depths of our extensive superhero database, which boasts a roster of over 2,400 superheroes and villains, to evaluate the role of AI in the realm of the superpowered.

Only 2.6% of Superheroes Are AIs For Now

There are a total of 63 standalone AI characters in our superhero database, or 2.6% to be exact. Admittedly, that is not a lot. In other words, the vast majority of superheroes seem to get by without AI. But it is still early days in the world of AI technology, so we would expect AI to play a more prominent role in the future, but more on that later.

But Some Super Superheroes Already Benefit From AI Support

The world of superheroes and supervillains is not about numbers. It is the individuals that make a difference, even if they are increasingly teaming up with other superheroes.

And guess what some of the most important superheroes like Batman and Iron Man use? Well, you guessed it: AI!

Iron Man Tony Stark alone has even developed three AI systems, called J.A.R.V.I.S., E.D.I.T.H. and F.R.I.D.A.Y. The latter was needed after his first AI system, J.A.R.V.I.S., evolved into Vision, a true franchise superhero in his own right, albeit one who is now sadly deceased.

Spiderman is also now benefiting from the AI technology developed by Iron Man Tony Stark. It remains to be seen how he will really benefit from this in future films. His first attempts went, shall we say, sideways…

And staying on the bad side of things, there is Ultron, a supervillain AI himself developed by Tony Stark together with Bruce Banner. Ultron contains parts of J.A.R.V.I.S. and went rogue in its efforts to save te world, indicating the dangers of AI developments.

So yes, AI is already making a real difference to many franchise-defining characters.

Even Superhero-AI Has a Gender Issue

In our database, AI characters are classified as:

  • AI with a male voice and appearance
  • AI with a female voice and appearance
  • AI with no voice or special appearance

The majority of AI characters, or a staggering 64%, have male voices and appearances. In this category we have the well-known AIs that have graced the big screen, such as Vision and Ultron. Female voices and appearances only account for 28%. The best-known female AI is F.R.I.D.A.Y, Iron Man’s invaluable assistant. On the other hand, we have Hank Pym’s groundbreaking AI, Jocasta, who unfortunately turned to the dark side and accompanied Ultron. But the good news is that even superhero AI has become politically correct this decade. With 8 new characters, female AIs outnumber male AIs for the first time in history at 7.

The Time For Superhero AI Has Clearly Come!

AI in the superhero universe started early, with the first five appearances in the 60s, but it took until the 90s for it to really take off. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, reaching 26 new character introductions in the 10s. And the 20s are on course to set a new record with 15 new names.  

Clearly, the time has come for AI in the superhero world.

The AI Risk of Superheroes

What other films have taught us before, Marvel and DC are now teaching us: AI can have a dark side.

And indeed, we find that the AI risk in the superhero world is high, as AI is predominantly evil. On the other hand, with only one exception, AI support systems have consistently demonstrated their commitment to the good side.

So at least AI support systems are pretty safe to use.