Fans preserve and emulate Sega’s extremely rare ’80s “AI computer” – Ars Technica

Generate an illustration in a cartoonish style portraying the concept of an AI-powered search engine. The scene includes a large magnifying glass floating above a cityscape, with lines representing search queries radiating out from it. Around it, there should also be a few futuristic skyscrapers symbolizing different data sources with lights within them indicating search activity. Also, represent the Copilot feature as a friendly robot lending a guiding hand to the queries. On one edge of the city, depict a group of people with diverse genders and descents looking appreciatively at the magnifying glass.

The Sega AI Computer, a little-known 1986 hardware, is now being explored in-depth by the SMS Power website. This education-focused device was primarily sold to Japanese schools and featured a 16-bit NEC chip, 128KB of RAM, and support for the AI-focused Prolog language. It aimed to bring users into the world of artificial intelligence and had unique features such as a customizable touch surface controller and a built-in speech synthesizer. Detailed information about the Sega AI Computer was scarce until recently, when the SMS Power community obtained a boxed unit and software through auctions. They have preserved the ROMs and created a new MAME driver for partial emulation. The software, mostly educational and aimed at kids, is in Japanese, making it challenging for non-Japanese users to tinker with. Despite this, the effort put into uncovering and preserving this piece of Sega history is commendable, and the SMS Power website provides a comprehensive look at the Sega AI Computer.

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