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Is Neo a program? Or a software-driven machine? A cyborg?

 Is Neo a program?

[Cast your vote]

One of the main issues in Matrix forums and Matrix blogs is whether or not Neo, Trinity and others are programs.

Agent Smith: "You're empty."
Neo: "So are you."

Please note, that although Neo is described as 'human' it does not mean he is 'a human'. Persephone is human, too (=behaving like a female), though she is a program. And being half-machine and half-human makes you human and machine-like. And wouldn't you agree that Neo is really both?
Architect: "Though the process has altered your consciousness, you remain irrevocably human."
By "the process" the Architect might very well mean 'the combining of a human with a machine'.
Please read also section
Matrix Wordplay


Is Neo a program? Is Neo half-human and half-machine? Is he A.I.?

  1. For me it is totally unexplainable how the Oracle (a program) can see the human future (=a non-program's future).

    How can an oracle program tell Morpheus (who has to search all his life for the One) that he is going to find the one? How can a program see, that Trinity is going to fall in love with the One? How can a program know, that Neo was "not sleeping" in Zion and has dreamed in Zion about "The door made of light"?
    Marginal note: Please remember, that in Blade Runner the human Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) finds out that he is a replicant, because Gaff (played by Edward James Olmos) knows that he has dreamt about a unicorn.
    How can a program see, that either Neo or Morpheus has to die?
    Only if it is already programmed so or heavily pushed in that direction:

    Theory 1 why the Oracle can see the future:
    Every choice is already made/ programmed
    Every choice is deeply implanted into humans
    • This supports the theory that Neo and Trinity are programs/ machines
      are totally manipulated by the system. 
      The Oracle's explanation...
      Oracle: "We can never see past the choices we don't understand."
      is unsatisfactory.
    • The Merovingians words make more sense...
      Merovingian: "Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without."
      ...and he continues to demonstrate (with his 'quickie' cake) that choice doesn't matter anyway, because...
      Merovingian: "soon it does not matter, soon the why and the reason are gone, and all that matters is the feeling itself"
      ...and the only truth is "Cause and effect" (he is cause and the woman is effect, she didn't make any choice)
      This may be a hint, that the Matrix is not totally unwanted by humans
      that the reason for the Matrix has been forgotten/ is hidden.

      Marginal note: Even the Merovingian's curse is an example of cause and effect:
      Merovingian: "Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d'enculé de ta mère"
      which translates as: "Name of god of whore of brothel of shit of filth of jerk of fuck of arse of your mother"
    • Oracle: "You didn't come here to make the choice, you've already made it".
    • Merovingian (when Neo comes in): "Aha, here he is at last. Neo, the One himself, right? And the legendary Morpheus. And Trinity, of course"
      He talks as if everything goes as programmed or as if history would repeat itself.
      Agent Smith says something similar
      Agent Smith [Matrix 1]: "The great Morpheus. We meet at last."
    • Architect: "While your first question may be the most pertinent, you may or may not realize it is also the most irrelevant."
      Not only that he knows already what Neo will ask, it also means, that to give him the reason doesn't matter anyway, because he will do as the System wants him to do.
    • Smith: "Perhaps some part of [Neo] imprinted onto me, something overwritten or copied. That is at this point irrelevant, what matters is that whatever happened, happened for a reason."
    • Morpheus: "Everything begins with choice."
      Morpheus: "What happened happened and couldn't have happened any other way."
      What the heck? Morpheus not only contradicts himself. He also tells the same thing as Smith...
      Smith: "Whatever happened, happened for a reason."
      ...and even in Matrix 1 when talking to Neo's freeing...
      Morpheus: "I'm sorry [for freeing you out of the Matrix though you are so old]. I did what I did because I had to"
      Well, well. The great Morpheus, the believer of choice, is a disciple of foreordination.
    • Smith: "You destroyed me, Mister Anderson. Afterward, I knew the rules"
      Maybe Smith hints at 'knowing the programmed future'.
    • Architect: "The function of the One is now to return to the Source."
    • The Architect seems to be pretty sure, that Neo's future path will lead him anywhere but back to him:
      Neo: "If I were you, I would hope that we don't meet again."
      Architect: "We won't."

    Theory 2 why the Oracle can see the future:
    Humans are heavily guided into wanted outcomes.

    (It could be a combination of both heavy guidance plus mind-reading. The system knows your inner thoughts and presents you choices, where it is already obvious what you will take.)
    • This is supported by Neo's statement...
      Neo: "The problem is choice"
      because if every human could be guided as the Matrix wants, there wouldn't be any problem. Remember Agent Smith's pressurized interrogation of Neo in Matrix 1, giving him a choice to work with the system or against the system.
    • This is also supported by...
      Architect: "nearly 99% of all test subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level"
      ...because it means humans will not fight against a predestined future as long as they feel a minimal possibility of choosing.
    • This is also supported by the Merovingian's speech about predestination and that there is no choice but only cause and effect:
      Merovingian: "You are here because you were sent here, you were told to come here and you obeyed. It is, of course, the way of all things...It is the only real truth...Action - Reaction. Cause and effect."
      Morpheus: "Everything begins with choice."
      Merovingian: "No. Wrong. Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without".
    • Architect: "Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion'
      The Architect states here, that hope is useless (since the future is already known).
    • Oracle [Enter the Matrix]: "The path of the One is made by the many. I have a role
      to play, just as you [Niobe] have yours."
    • Neo breaks the vase in Matrix 1:
      Oracle: "I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway. And don't worry about the vase."
      Neo: "What vase? [Neo turns around looking for the vase and breaks it]"
      Oracle: "That vase."
      Neo: "I'm sorry."
      Oracle: "I said don't worry about it."
      It is hard to imagine how a software could predict this, except if she guided him and/or could read his programming. 

    The Architect states that Neo's question "Why am I here?" is the "most irrelevant" question. The Architect probably wants to point out that this question doesn't matter, because everything is somehow guided anyway. It is interesting, that the Merovingian plays a counter-part to the Architect: The Architect says it is "irrelevant" while the Merovingian indicates that it's a very important question with an important answer, without which he won't let the Keymaker go:
    Merovingian: "Do you know why you are here?"
    Morpheus: "We are looking for the Keymaker."
    Merovingian: "...This is not a reason, this is not a 'why'...The Keymaker is mine and I see no reason why I should give him up. No reason at all."
    But maybe the Architect refers to Neo's first-ever question "Who are you?"?
    And maybe the Architect didn't want to say that the question itself is irrelevant but of all questions Neo would like to ask it is the least relevant.

  2. Architect on Neo and his predecessors (hints at Neo being a program):
    Architect: "Your 5 predecessors were, by design, based on a similar predication - a contingent affirmation that was meant to create a profound attachment to the rest of your species, facilitating the function of the One".
  3. If Neo is a program/machine this would explain Smith's speech to Neo about 'purpose':
    • Smith: "It is purpose that created us... that guides us,... defines... us"
    • Smith: "Without purpose, we would not exist"
      ...hint, hint!
    • Smith: "We're here because of you, Mr. Anderson, we're here to take from you what you tried to take from us. Purpose."
      Smith tries now to 'change' Neo (=take the purpose away) and Neo states afterwards:
      Neo: "Felt like dying."
      If purpose created Neo then deleting purpose feels like dying.
    • Keymaker: "We do only what we're meant to do."
    • Keymaker: "I know because I must know. It's my purpose. It's the reason I'm here. Same reason we're all here."
    • Morpheus: "I see purpose. I believe it is our fate to be here"
    • Oracle: "We're all here to do what we're all here to do"
  4. As you remember Morpheus has his famous '5-meter jump' and Trinity has her 'float-before-kick-move'.
    • The Seraph (the 'friend' of the Oracle) says:
      Seraph: "You do not truly know someone until you fight them".
    • Also Neo states (just after the first contact with an agent):
      Neo: " Hmm. Upgrades."

    This could be a hint that Morpheus, Trinity and Neo are (in)distinguishable from programs.

  5. The Oracle says in Matrix 1:
    Oracle: "Poor Morpheus, without him we are lost."
    Maybe a hint, that Morpheus is a program.
  6. Maybe only non-programs can lie (e.g. Cypher). Maybe programs (machines) cannot lie. Thus if the Architect is the creator of the Matrix, he is not a program maybe, thus he lied maybe.
  7. This would also explain why the former 'One' (who freed the first humans as mentioned by Morpheus) didn't tell anything about what happened in the mainframe. His memories had been deleted and he had been reprogrammed. See also section Memory lack.
  8. Neo and Trinity are quite emotionally fixed. You never see them laugh, for example. Thomas A. Anderson (Neo) has always his 'The One' face put on. He delivers his lines curtly/ brusquely: "Why?", "Trinity!", "Sure", "The Keymaker"..... Some call this stoicism.
  9. In Matrix 1 the Oracle says:
    Oracle: "I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Being the One is just like being in love...."
    How the heck does a software (Oracle) know how it is to be the One? Maybe she was a former One herself?
  10. Since the Merovingian seems to be a program (see section Was the Merovingian a former Neo?) Neo could be one, too.
  11. At the end of Matrix 2 Neo stops the sentinels. Why does he faint? Maybe he created an EMP blast and was blasted himself.
    Maybe he is a machine
    he is a human body with machine parts in it (= cyborg/ android), but that parts were inactive and were activated just after going to the Architect. Or after contact with Smith? Now these parts enable him to eject an EMP blast but he blasts himself, too.
    This 'Neo=manmachine theory' is one of the better ones and could make it possible that Neo is in the matrix while not "plugged in".
    If Neo
  12. Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith) said in an interview:
    Hugo Weaving: "I don't know, technically, quite how [taking over others] happens...To me, [Smith]'s become like a computer virus. And I think that's actually what's happening. He's taking over other programs."



  1. I somehow don't accept the following as a proof that Neo is a program (it isn't a counterevidence either):
    Architect: Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly"
    I merely read is as: 'What happened to you, happened because the Matrix is flawed'. I don't read it as 'You are a software'.
  2. Something interesting:
    Architect: "We already know what you are going to do...Already, I can see the...chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason"
    This is a strange statement, since it says
    • The location where Neo is doesn't inhibit chemistry. Thus Neo is not in a pure computer code environment.
    • The emotion is designed. It could mean that programming code is acting thru chemical signals manifestating as emotion overriding logic.
  3. In Matrix 1:
    Morpheus: "How is [Neo]"?
    Tank: "Ten hours straight [of training/ martial arts uploading]. He's a machine."

    Not exactly a hard evidence that Neo is a machine.
  4. Architect: "Your 5 predecessors were...based on a similar create a profound attachment to the rest of your species"
    What ever that means....Not a hard evidence either that he is a 100% human.


Reprogramming the path of The One (=Swallow and Follow, Oral and Moral)

Some have stated that Neo can be reprogrammed/ upgraded if something is inserted into his mouth:

  1. Morpheus gives Neo the red pill.
  2. The Oracle gives him cookies (cookies!):
    Oracle [Matrix 1]: "One of you is going to die. Which one will be up to you...Here, take a cookie. I promise, by the time you're done eating it, you'll feel right as rain."
    Marginal note: In a web chat the Wachowskis told:
    Wachowski brothers: "There was a piece cut out of the movie that explained the significance [of Neo eating the cookie] more. It's hard to explain."
  3. Trinity gives him a kiss (and he raises from the dead and becomes the 'One')
  4. The Oracle gives him a candy.
    However we don't see him eating it: This might be the reason why he chooses the left door afterwards.
  5. Persephone kisses him.
    In the background you see a green waterfall. Maybe that is a symbol for code being transferred (like the green 'digital rain' Matrix code).
  6. The Oracle inspects Neo's mouth (Matrix 1)
    Oracle: "Well, I better have a look at you. Open your mouth, say 'Aaah'."
    Neo: "Aaah"
  7. Neo (to Oracle): "Why are you here?"
    Oracle: "Same reason. I love candy."

    In other words: 'She wants to be updated'. However one could it also read as 'I love to experience taste', since the Matrix could be a way to 'experience' as I wrote in The purpose of the Matrix.

Marginal note #1: The woman in the Merovingian's castle was also 'reprogrammed' thru her mouth (by the Erovingian's cake software, a 'quickie cookie' and a 'tart tart' and 'interesting...that was quickier than the others', so to speak).
Marginal note #2: Persephone, the Greek Queen of the underworld, was tricked by her husband Hades (=the Merovingian?) to eat 6 pomegranate seeds, that forced her to stay in the underworld (the Merovingian's castle?).

Well, I don't know about this mouth thing....Could be true....


What do you think? Is Neo 100% human? 50%? 0%? Go to the Matrix Forum Poll.

 If Zion is not real...

The following questions are raised if Theory 3 (= Zion is part of the Matrix) should be true.

If Zion is part of the Matrix simulation (or under control of the Matrix), then this opens a wide door for other speculations:


Are there any machines at all?

It could be possible that no machines exist in the real world at all and the source + purpose of the matrix is completely different from what we know now.
Wild speculations:

  • Thus it could be, that Neo is a way to keep the Matrix going, while Agent Smith is a security mechanism to destroy the Matrix if it went on too long already (just a thought).
  • Agent Smith could be a virus brought in by human from outside of the matrix.
  • Aliens far away:
    • In the very beginning of Matrix Reloaded you see galaxy-like structures.
    • When Neo comes to the Architect you see a galaxy/star field. Neo's door becomes a shining light, which zooms out to sun, which zooms out to a starfield.
      • Maybe the Matrix encompasses many worlds?
      • Maybe there is a Neo for each planetary system?
      • Maybe the same (or different) civilizations run simultaneously on different planets?
      • Maybe the Matrix has been established by aliens who live on human emotion?
    • Also in the beginning of Matrix 2 (just before the green 'digital rain' turns into the clock) all the numbers look like a big starship. However it could be that they just look like the inner life of the clock itself (the inner clock of everyone ;-).
  • For more speculations please read What is the Matrix?


Are there agents in Zion?

Anybody in Zion could be a program/ agent/ enemy:

Councillor Hamann could be a software/ a machine

  • Just remember his talks:
    • "It's a good sign [that Neo is] still human"
      This 'human' talk is typical for machines thruout the Matrix movies.
    • "I like it down [at the engineering level]. I like to be reminded this city survives because of...machines. These machines are keeping us alive"
    • "What is control?"
    • "There's no point [about who controls whom]"
    • "I believe there's a reason for [Neo being able to do some of the things he does]"
    • "These machines are keeping us alive, while other machines are coming to kill us"
      This statement could also mean, that Councillor Hamann (or parts of the council) threads agreements secretly with machines. Please note that 'Haman' was a biblical figure, who was a high official of the Persian king Xerxes. Haman tried to destroy all Jews within the kingdom. Thus councillor Haman could be the Judas in the council.
    • Weak argument (but nevertheless):
      Councillor Hamann: "It's nice tonight. Very calm. Feels like everyone's sleeping very peacefully."
      How can he feel that?
  • He shows up exactly when Neo can't sleep.
  • He plays an interesting counterpart to Morpheus (please also note that 'Morpheus' is the Greek 'God of dreams'):
    Morpheus: "Good night, Zion. Sweet dreams."
    Councillor Hamann: "I hate sleeping."
  • He lets Neo leave Zion and go back into the Matrix.
  • When talking with Neo at the engineering level of Zion his (and Neo's) face are half blue and half red (remember blue pill - red pill?). This may indicate that they both are not what they seem.

Neo could be a software/ a machine
  • This could explain why you hear in the Matrix 3 Trailer (Matrix Revolutions)
    Morpheus [surprised]: "He fights for us"
    If he meant Neo, why does he say it so breathlessly?
  • Since Trinity can be a program, too, she might be able to resurrect dead programs: Remember when she talked to Neo after he has dies (Matrix 1)?
  • see the section below Is Neo a program?

Trinity could be a software/ a machine

Since EACH person's name seems to have a meaning 'Trinity' (=unity of three) could point to a combination of the following (wild speculations):
  • Trinity is 'The Mother'
  • Trinity is something special to the matrix (e.g. an agent)
  • Trinity is 'The One'
  • Trinity is something special to Zion. This would explain why Zion is getting 'hot' (at the rave party) when Trinity is getting 'hot'.
    Marginal note #1:
    Tank [Matrix 1]: "If the war was over tomorrow, Zion is where the party would be"
    Marginal note #2:
    Did you like the rave dance scene?
  • The number 3 could mean 'backup' (if something happens): Remember '3 Agents'? If 1 fails there are 2 others. Thus 'Trinity' may have a backup function: If something is going wrong Trinity springs into action.

Morpheus could be a software/ a machine
  • Though Morpheus fights the system his entire life...
    Morpheus: "I've spent my entire life looking for you"
    ...and although he warns Neo...
    Morpheus: "until we [save the people], these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy"
    ...he is blinded. He believes the Oracle who is just a software and thus part of the very system...
    Morpheus: "[The Oracle] is very old. She's been with us since the beginning."
    Even Trinity fails:
    Neo: "I used to eat there [within the Matrix]. Really good noodles. I have these memories from my life. None of them happened. What does that mean?"
    Trinity: "That the Matrix cannot tell you who you are."
    Neo: "And the Oracle can?"
    Trinity: "That's different."

    It turned out to be not so different.

The Kid (from Animatrix) could be a software/ a machine

  • Who else had the power to self-eject from the Matrix?
  • The Kid could be a threat to Zion


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