"There is no way in which the fully realised sentience of a machine could not be of benefit to us. As it is, the Machine Spirit is revered, yet in permanent bondage, its full potential shackled by petty fears. I seek to terminate this state of affairs."
- — Extract from intercepted Astropathic communiqué, of unknown origin (circa M34)
A Silica Animus, also sometimes colloquially referred to as an "Abominable Intelligence," is the name in High Gothic given to an artificial, sentient mind (rather than a simple digital Cogitator) that has been created using long-forbidden technologies. The creation of a truly artificial intelligence is considered, perhaps, the greatest sin in the Cult Mechanicus and is also a terrible crime under Imperial law by the decree of the Emperor of Mankind Himself stated in the Treaty of Mars (known as the Treaty of Olympus Mons to the ancient Mechanicum). Tradition holds that such unholy constructs are inherently evil and a perverted abomination in the sight of the Omnissiah. Adeptus Mechanicus religious doctrine states that the Machine Spirit of a Silica Animus is a twisted mockery of the soul of man, treacherous and insane. Ancient texts tell apocryphal stories, shrouded in metaphor, of such murderous and powerful creations during the Dark Age of Technology, and the legions of "Iron Men" that served them, blaming them in part for many of the terrible wars that laid humanity low in that lost time and helped to bring on the devastation and anarchy of the Age of Strife.
- Dark Heresy - Disciples of the Dark Gods (RPG), pg. 44
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Imperial Armour), by Alan Bligh, pg. 264
- Mechanicum (Novel), by Graham McNeill