I think you are ignoring the fact that these AIs have been around since 2310. Meaning either the same AIs that we have evidence as existing before at least 2310 are meta-stable (which modern humanity is not capable of producing, thus my question about them being from ancient humanity), or this AI Assembly has found a sneaky way to purge their own AIs before they go rampant and re-populate themselves, which I addressed in my Query #2.
We can assume that ancient humans didn't build them because if you read on one of the datapads that they got together at one point during Humanities first trip to other planets, they assessed the outcome of meeting other species. If they were built by ancient humans then they would have had a better prediction based off of the human-(prophet) alliance and the annihilation of ancient humanity by the forerunners. So we can assume that they were secretly built by some group, or even just splinter AI's that somehow 'got' away and they began forming their own society built around protecting humanity (Which is their primary base "code" when they are made).
Quote:Query: are the "Assembly AIs" that are guiding humanity, found and documented in Reach of similar design to AIs made by ancient humanity?
Related Query: these AIs have been documented by modern humanity since 2310, and have not yet become rampant. Are they meta-stable AIs or self-propagating?
Also to add: If they were built by Ancient Humanity, they most likely would have liked the secrets of how to defeat the flood deeply within the 'Minds', why leave your predecessors with zero knowledge of something that could consume entire galaxies. In the datapads, they read about an unknown ''third participate'' but they assumed that because they brought terror to a society such as the covenant, it should not be contacted.
The datapads you cite are not enough to exclude them from being AIs from ancient humanity. What they choose to reveal in the Reach datapads is clearly cryptic and withholding vast amounts of information. In fact, I'd ask you to explain how these AIs had the capability of verifying the existence of the Covenant + gain interesting strategic information so long ago. Wouldn't it be likely that modern human AIs would help humanity ID the Covenant between 2310 and first contact? Your citation of the terminals just further supports, in my mind, that these AIs seemed far more advanced in capability than modern humanity was capable of creating at the time.
It may not be AIs from ancient humanity, but I think it is a logical hypothesis.
Smart A.Is were created during the mid-21st century [http://www.halopedia.org/Smart_AI as I read here], that's enough time for "discarded" A.I's to conglomerate into an Assembly, enough time to structure and learn and form into this ultimate society of democracy, Humanity doesn't currently know what happens after Rampancy only that it's possible that it could possess human-like conscience (which the Assembly is based off of), and with current knowledge of what the Assembly is, it can still include A.Is that come and go, like you said, either discarded or forgotten, finding its way into this huge data bank of A.Is. I just don't think the Assembly is Ancient Human design, There is no mention of alien creatures known to Assembly (Ancient Humans had knowledge of different species, thus the A.I definitely had knowledge of aliens), there's no mention of Forerunner in the Assembly (which would have been common knowledge to an A.I created by a society that had been disintegrated into the stone age by Forerunners), they had zero idea of what the flood was (which should have been a pretty big deal seeing as how the flood decimated a 3rd of Ancient Humanity's population). And I never said it was created by current humans only that it's a possiblity, I'm saying that perhaps rogue, or forgotten or discarded A.Is could have found its way into some form of information bank, cut off from Humanities systems, but it can be assumed ONI has something to do, either in the possible creation, whether accidentally or with knowledge of, or even perhaps the discovery of the Assembly. The discoverer found it somehow, so it's safe to assume that this Assembly is being housed somewhere man-made, whether forgotten or in secret.