QUINN stands for Quantum Unified Intelligent Neural Network. Systems of this type are often referred to as QUINN Types or QUINN Type AIs. They are a revolutionary type of Artificial Intelligence system that is truly sentient by every scientific measure. These computer systems are rare. This is because it is self aware and capable of both learning and ongoing independent decision making over a indefinite time periods and that raises a good amount of moral ambiguity. Indeed parts of the EMH design are rumored to have been based on the QUINN software design.
Creation: The Seed
These types of systems are created and grown rather than simply built. The seed is a digital equivalent of a fertilized embryonic cell of a living being. It is a program that builds out the basic framework and architecture for the QUINN system's neural network to begin to grow. The seed program will take in whatever data it is given and form a sort of programmatic DNA from this data. Once the seed has processed all of the data it is given it begins to grow virtual neural networks from this core genetic information. The neural network is expanded on very rapidly and, if available, the system brings in external information to fill out required information about its primary directives. These primary directives then influence the growth of the neural network. As the network grows the seed runs simulated test inputs through each branch of the neural network while it forms, correcting deviations and expanding each branch. Once the neural network has sufficiently been constructed, the seed program then alters itself to form the central processing framework connecting all parts of the neural network to each other, and thus becomes the core of the QUINN AI's virtual nervous system.
These seed programs are highly controlled and difficult to obtain, each seed can be copied though it is unknown whether or not replicative fading applies the way it does in biological organisms. While this has not been tested, there are not enough AI systems being built for a proper test of this.
It is also possible for an existing AI or set of AI's to guide the construction of the new AI's neural network. This is especially useful when constructing an AI with very complex core directives and the seed program will seek out assistance if it runs into trouble constructing or maintaining integrity of a the new neural network.
These computers are almost always self aware and sentient, intelligent beings unto themselves that are both aware of what they are and for what they were designed.
It is rare to see these AI's without some kind of holographic interface. It is not required but as rare as it is to see one of these systems, it is far more rare to encounter an AI such as this that does not have some kind of interface to the outside world that also exists as something similar to how living beings exist. Holographic (or other interface) templates are input at the time of creation, though can be changed by the AI itself with a large amount of difficulty and time.
Because of the moral and ethical implications of creating artificial life the only way to obtain a QUINN system is through underground channels. While they are not illegal to have in Federation or Solas Tempus space, they are frowned upon and discouraged.