Glaurung is a Class Seven "Dumb" Artificial Intelligence, and is the shipboard AI of the UNSC Carrier Aeneas. With advanced tactical and strategic programs, extensive medical and military files, and newly developed Covenant translation and anti-encryption software, Glaurung's short lifespan has encompassed the battles for three UNSC colonies, the emergence of new Covenant species, weapons and vehicles, and the discovery that there is more to worry about than the Covenant in the galaxy.
The development of AI technology is closely guarded information, given NOVEMBER BLACK status by the UNSC. While "smart" AI are each individually based on the mind of a person, the process requiring deceased tissue or resulting in lethal results regardless, "dumb" AI can be manufactured from a basic template, parameters varied as needed. Nevertheless, even "dumb" AI are individuals, as different from each other as living people are. Initial formulation periods result in a slow incubation as the AI restructures itself, reformating and debugging itself until it is functional. The second phase is a rapid growth spurt, during which they accumulate data at an astonishing rate, actively seeking it out. The type of data permitted is heavily restricted by developers at the Sydney Synthetic Intellects Institute, currently the only AI production centre, though enough non-relevant information is provided for the AI to form the basis of its third phase - the emergence of a personality.
In the case of Glaurung, he absorbed information pertaining to 20th century writer J.R.R. Tolkien, especially centering around his "middle-earth" series, drawing the basis of his avatar from his last work, the Silmarillion. His choice was unique in that the original character, the eponymous Glaurung, was decidedly a villain, a pitch-black wingless dragon who was notorious for leading armies against the Elves, ravaging their kingdoms. Such choices are rare, with most AI choosing avatars less likely to alarm the humans they serve or serve with. His personality also crystalised during this period, though owes less to Tolkien. Finally finishing his development phase, Glaurung was approved for deployment, and attached to the 501st ODST Force Reconnaissance Battalion.
Glaurung's holographic avatar was unusual in several ways. For one thing, while the majority of AI's chose human or humanoid forms to represent themselves, Glaurung chose a saurian, based on his namesake, a wingless fire breathing dragon from The Silmarillion. Also unusual was that it was based on a character typically classified as a villain.
Though occasionally rigid to the point of rudeness, Glaurung was ultimately well liked by the Aeneas' crew for his professionalism and straightforward manner. Dedicating himself fully to any task he was put to, and willing to go to great lengths to accomplish them with as little loss of life as possible, he was also well liked for his regular performances of significant scenes from literature, especially battle scenes, where he would substitute key characters for crewmembers.