Contender-class artificial intelligence

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This article is about the AI. For the achievement, see Contender (achievement).
Mendicant Bias, as seen in the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition).
A Contender-class artificial intelligence.

The Contender-class artificial intelligence was a type of metarch-class Forerunner artificial intelligence, or ancilla, that was the most advanced of its time.[1]


A Contender-class AI was composed of numerous AI "minds" or instances working in synchrony, thus giving it intellectual capabilities far beyond any other AI. This class of AI could command an entire fleet of ships, with its consciousness being housed in several "core ships".[1] They could also deploy several independently operating fragments, or "primary extensions", of themselves on a number of installations.[2]


In order to coordinate their defenses against the Flood, the Forerunners created Mendicant Bias, the first Contender-class AI. During the Forerunner-Flood war, Mendicant Bias was tasked with engaging in discourse with the parasite's central intellect, the Gravemind, and then gathering information from it. When instructed by the Forerunners, the AI would use the information gathered about the parasite's weaknesses to unrelentingly attack the Mind until the Flood withdrew from the galaxy or perished. However, the Gravemind managed to turn Mendicant Bias against its masters instead, arguing that the Forerunners' rule in the name of the Mantle had doomed the galaxy to eternal stagnation.[1]

The Forerunners tasked another Contender-class ancilla, Offensive Bias,[3] with combating the rampant Mendicant Bias. Although of the same class, Offensive Bias lacked Mendicant's free will, but its calculating and rational approach allowed it to exploit Mendicant's blind hatred against its creators in the Battle of the Maginot Sphere.[1]

There were multiple Contender-class AIs in existence. Master Builder Faber left the Didact to die when the latter refused to give him the codes to activate them.[4]

Known Contender-class AIs[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Halo 3, Terminals
  2. ^ Halo: Primordium, page 190-192
  3. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 189
  4. ^ Halo: Cryptum, page 339
  5. ^ Halo Waypoint, The New Halo Encyclopedia is Out Today: "INVARIANT BIAS - The Contender-class ancilla that serves as the custodian of the Absolute Record." (Retrieved on Dec 19, 2022) [archive]