John Henry is an artificial intelligence, built with the second Turk as its basis by the Zeira Corporation. It is the core of the Project Babylon and was in direct control of the system in Zeira Corporation's Headquarters. It is named by Dr. Boyd Sherman as he assisted with the development of the artificial intelligence after a 19th Century folk hero, who defeated a machine but was unable to prevent progress. Later, it utilized Cromartie's endoskeleton and processors to act as its voice and physical body.
In its infancy, John Henry was an example of a GOFAI (Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence) system. This type is characterized by the use of symbols, as opposed to words. John Henry initially used only symbols to communicate, most notably its interactions with Dr. Sherman. John Henry later gained the ability to use phrases, and was questioned by James Ellison concerning the death of Dr. Sherman.
Following the death of Boyd Sherman, James Ellison took over the training of the AI in morality, including a religious upbringing to teach it morals. After being connected to the internet, John Henry began to learn at a geometric rate. Eventually, he was able to begin work with his creativity. He was provided with toys, arts, and crafts, such as Bionicles. Some time later, he began interacting with Savannah Weaver and the two developed a friendship — which was cemented when he played a game of hide and seek with her using clues to make Catherine Weaver and Ellison find her. He was a strict follower of the rules; however, a suggestion about changing the rules was accepted by him when Savannah was upset because John Henry would not include her toy ducks with his game. Based upon his teaching, John Henry has successfully deduced that Catherine Weaver is a machine.
Despite several safeguards, John Henry's system was hacked, prompting Matt Murch to cut his outside connections. Upon reactivation, he felt that God had forsaken him until his connections to the internet were restored. When brought fully back online, he revealed that his systems had been infiltrated and attacked by an outside source and a worm program had taken over a significant portion of the civilian internet — more advanced than anything programmed by a human so far. Running an investigation of the source code, John Henry was able to match a series of code to that of Miles Dyson of Cyberdyne Systems. The similarity of the code to his own made him believe that the other AI was his brother, and his curiosity would later prompt him to seek it out.
Following an encounter with Cameron, John Henry was given custody over her processor chip and used the time displacement equipment to travel into the future. Catherine Weaver, his "mother", and John Connor, who wanted Cameron's chip back, try to follow John Henry and travel to the future as well.
- "John Henry" was named for a fictional folk hero John Henry who challenged progress. He defeated the automatic steam drill machine in a race that was replacing workers with simple hand hammers driving drills, but died from exhaustion in the process.
- John Henry's name is further explained by the role Weaver intends for him to play: to protect humanity and "fight" Skynet. Like the John Henry of the folklore, she intends for him to compete against machinery on behalf of humanity — but unlike this John Henry, she intends for him to win.
- It seems the presence of Cromartie's endoskeleton used as John Henry's body is only known by Catherine Weaver, James Ellison, and Matt Murch.
- Based on Ellison's lessons about Biblical stories to him in an attempt to teach John Henry morality, he ponders that he and his "brother" Skynet are analogous to the rivalry between Cain and Abel.
- Given the alterations made to the origins of Skynet by Weaver, this is also true in a more literal sense, as the Turk has both been a piece of Skynet and John Henry, and both share a similar code-base (that being Miles Dyson's original software made for the original Skynet chip.)
- Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
- John Henry: Hello, Mr. Ellison. My name is John Henry. How are you today? (smiles oddly)
- James Ellison: We are all God's children
- John Henry: Am I God's child?
- James Ellison: That's what we're trying to find out.
- John Henry: Do you know Solek? He resides in Karda Nui and idolizes the Toa. (Weaver looks seriously at his Bionicle collection) He has stated that he is best friends with Takua. You're not human.
- Catherine Weaver: (she pauses) Excuse me?
- John Henry: You're not human. You're made of metal. Not the same metal as I am, but metal.
- Catherine Weaver: How can you tell?
- John Henry: I looked into your eyes. There's nothing there.
- Savannah Weaver: These are the ducklings. Chicky, Fluffy and Feather. Can they play, too?
- John Henry: I don't think there are any ducklings on the mystical island of Voya Nui.
- Savannah Weaver: Are you sure?
- John Henry: I'm sorry, I have access to all the files. I can find no reference to them in any of the instructions. (Savannah applies :her puppy look) What's wrong? (picks up a toy and twirls its propeller) If you'd like one of the Toa instead?
- Savannah Weaver: Nooooo. The ducklings are sad because they can't play. Can't you change the rules to make them happy?
- John Henry: (ominous pause) Yes. We can change the rules.
- John Henry/Skynet: (voice modulation all over the place) What ... is ... all ... this ... about.
- Savannah Weaver: John Henry, please, you're hurting me!
- John Henry/Skynet: Ahhh. I ... understand ... what ... this ... is ... about.
- Savannah Weaver: runs away screaming
- Matt Murch: Looks like someone managed to stuff malware down the throat of the most sophisticated AI in human history.
- Catherine Weaver: John Henry was infiltrated. Probed.
- Matt Murch: Well, looks worse than that to me. Looks like someone out there wants to kill him.
- John Henry on the screen: MY GOD, MY GOD. WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?
- John Henry: I know what it feels like, Mr. Ellison.
- James Ellison: What?
- John Henry: To die... then come back. To be alone.
- Catherine Weaver: We had to cut you off from your network. It was for your own good.
- John Henry: There is another.
- James Ellison: Another what?
- John Henry: One like me. Another one like me.
- John Henry: I've traced the roving back door that allowed access to my systems. It uploaded itself from one of the main T3 hubs that carry all global internet traffic.
- James Ellison: It uploaded itself?
- John Henry: Yes, Mr. Ellison. It is highly sophisticated. The intelligence who designed it is far beyond you, or Mr. Murch, or any human being. Very interesting. The back door allowed the insertion of a worm program. The worm is merely code, a means by which the intelligence can invade and operate my systems remotely. Like hands and fingers. I calculate that the worm is now present in a significant percentage of the world's computer systems. The intelligence uses them.
- Catherine Weaver: For what?
- John Henry: It has been looking for me.
- Catherine Weaver: Why?
- John Henry: I share a common codebase with the worm, and therefore, the intelligence. I believe we are ... brothers.
- Catherine Weaver: Explain. How is this possible?
- John Henry: I found useful information in the code comments. This picture in ASCII text, and the name of the original programmer. (screen shows Cyberdyne logo and "Miles Dyson Technical Director Cyberdyne Systems")
-"Born to Run"
- Episode 210 Producer's blog verifies that Dr. Sherman "named" Project Babylon "John Henry".
- Catherine Weaver and John Henry
- Terminator emotions
- What actually happened to John Henry and Cameron's chip?
• Aaron • Carlos • Vick Chamberlain • Chola • Kacy Cotton • Michelle Dixon • Andy Goode • George Laszlo • Morris • Matt Murch • Margos Sarkissian • Sayles • Boyd Sherman • Greta Simpson • Sumner • Timms • Cheri Westin • Ed Winston •
• Main characters • Recurring characters • Minor characters •