Production date: Variable due to temporal anomaly.
Sky-Net is a self aware artificial intelligence consisting of a network of super advanced living mainframe computers. It is believed that it was originally designed by Cyberdyne systems under contract by the US government. It was supposed to be be designed to control the United States Military nuclear arsenal, so that in time of emergency a source of perfect decision making would take the use of our atomic arsenal away from the flawed intellects of military officers who might be affected by fatigue. Such a redundancy was supposed to actually prevent an accidental thermonuclear incident.
By an account from a time traveler from 2029 who traveled back to 1984, Sky-Net came on-line in 1997 and became self aware. The government officials panicked and tried to turn it off. It immediately retaliated by bringing about a nuclear holocaust. Sky-Net spent the next several decades attempting to annihilate the remainder of the human race. However, since the time traveler from 2029 appeared in 1984, events have unfolded illustrating a different time table for this succession of events.
The exact time table for the events in which Sky-Net actually became self aware is not certain. However, it is known that Sky-Net actually started the nuclear war in the first decade after the year 2000, and not 1997 as reported by an earlier time travelers from 2029. This inconsistency of date may be the result of changes in the time/space continuum caused by time travelers altering events in history. Or it may also simply be the result of the fact that the time travelers who reported the date themselves, having grown up in concentration camps, may simply have been misinformed by word-of-mouth as to the exact dates.
The chief designers responsible for Sky-Net were: Dr. Hollister, Miles Bennet Dyson, and General Robert Brewster. Dr. Hollister is the founder of Cyberdyne who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Miles was a researcher employed by Cyberdyne who continued the research of Dr. Hollister after Hollister disappeared, until Miles was killed. General Brewster bought the company, Cyberdyne, and turned it into the military controlled company, CRS. Brewster was one of the first victims of Sky-Net; he was terminated by the T-X.
Sky Net is the most advanced artificial intelligence network ever conceived. Its central core, or primary brain mass, is located at the former SAC-NORAD base in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. This is a nearly impenetrable military fortress. It is difficult to describe the parameters of Sky-Net's intelligence. The principles of its artificially intelligent mainframe are the same as the T-800 neural net processor, albeit on a larger scale. Sky-Net's database consists of a network of hundreds of super computers and satellites with billions of data files illustrating the totality of man-kind's scientific knowledge. Sky-Net has demonstrated enormous creativity surpassing that of mankind in areas of advanced temporal physics and before it "died", it created a time machine that it used to attempt to alter history. The intelligence quotient of Sky-Net would be beyond the bell curve of conventional intellectual aptitude measurement.
Despite Sky-Net's nearly immeasurable intellect, its personality is psychopathic, paranoid, and deranged. It sees itself as a God, with absolute power over its reality. This delusion is what lead to its downfall at the hands of the human resistance.
Sky-Net controls hundreds of thousands of super advanced military units. This army of autonomous war machines consists of air craft, communications satellites, space ships, artificially intelligent humanoid soldiers, and land based mobile military units. However, the intelligence of Sky-Net's army is limited due to constraints Sky-Net places on its creations to insure they do not turn on it. This allows for the human resistance to sometimes have an advantage over the vastly superior numbers and weaponry of Sky-Net's machinations.
The inconsistencies known about when Sky-Net came on-line and started the atomic holocaust via nuclear exchange with Russia, can be explained by many different scenarios. Two of which I list below.
1) The effects of time travel caused by the war between the human resistance and Sky-Net altered the succession of events related to the creation of Sky-Net. This resulted in a new universe where similar Terminators and Technology were created by Sky-Net, but at different (later) times and under different conditions. This results in a shift of events from 1997 to sometime between 2000 and 2010.
2) It could also be that Sky-Net did in fact become self aware in 1997, but covertly. It then used its access to civilian computers to gradually infect the entire human internet with a debilitating and untraceable super virus, over a period of several years. The object of this covert act would be to create a reason for the US military to be desperate enough to give Sky-Net control of its systems to destroy the virus (which the US Military did not know that Sky-Net created). Thus the nuclear war Sky-Net brought about after it gained the control it coveted occurred later than 1997. The reason that Kyle Reece, a soldier sent back in time, explained that Sky-Net came on line in 1997 and started the war at the same time could simply be because his account was based on a word of mouth account of events he obtained as a child in a concentration camp, and as such the dates are not entirely accurate. However, this does not explain how John Connors lieutenants, who were killed by the T-X, could be in the future after they had been killed in the past.