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We have confirmation that The Oracle is a program (in The Matrix Reloaded). So it's clear that some programs are allowed to interact with humans.

But I wonder whether The Architect is also a program? All the available evidence suggests so but is there any hard confirmation?

This also raises a related question: Are machines programming other machines as well as an artificial world for humans? And if so, then have machines reached a level of consciousness at least equivalent to (if not beyond) that of humans? And if so, are they in fact a totally independent life form? Could this be the actual future of the human race given the potential of AI?

Edit: Also, who programmed the program who programmed the program and so on? Did this ability to program themselves spontaneously emerge or did humans somehow make this happen? Is there any evidence to support a theory on this?

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    I think you should undo the edit and ask "Who programmed the program" as a separate question. That answer probably involves The Animatrix miniseries, but the Architect is not part of that. – Thunderforge Sep 13 '17 at 22:44
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Yes, The Architect Is A Program

From its article on the Matrix Wikia:

The Architect is a highly specialized, humorless program of the Machine world as well as the creator of the Matrix. As the chief administrator of the system, he is possibly a collective manifestation, or at the very least a virtual representation of the entire Machine mainframe.

While his history is unclear, he appears to have been created by the AI behind the machine systems, and given the task of creating the Matrix - the human-like virtual world where the coppertops believe they live.

As for your second question (which should really be a separate question), humans were the ones who created the AI. It was this AI, who learned exponentially, that created the machines, waged war on, and eventually enslaved humanity. In order to keep its batteries happy, this AI created the Architect, who in turn created the Matrix, etc.

Neo meets a representation of the controlling AI in the third film.

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