- This article is about the Programs of the Matrix. For the animated sequence, see Program (The Animatrix).
In computer science, a program is generally a precise sequence of instructions that enables a computer system to perform a specific function or set of functions. Programs in the Matrix come in many forms such as an artificial environment (sparring program), inanimate objects (for example keys or guns) or are even sentient Machine entities that appear as human.
Strictly speaking, all objects within the Matrix form a massively complex computer program. In the Matrix universe, the use of the term mostly refers to the sentient Machine entities, but can also refer to specific objects that contain important code that is needed to perform a task or to protect something.
The Keymaker carries an assortment of door keys that represent complex encryption passwords that can enter doors located in secreted backdoors within the Matrix. Some programs have feelings and emotions like humans. They all possess unique abilities. Sati, can manipulate sunrises for example.
Programs could possibly enter the real world by putting their consciousness in a machine body. Smith is shown to do this in The Matrix Reloaded, although it is not clear if other programs have the same ability. In The Matrix Resurrections, the Resistance is now capable of freeing friendly programs from the Matrix by giving them a redpill and then taking them through an exit like a freed human. Bugs notes that the extraction process for people and programs is pretty much the same now. When she freed the program version of Morpheus, he at first ended up in the computer systems on her ship before taking on the form of a nanobot body.