Artificial intelligence is a technological achievement used to describe an intelligence generated by a biological source, and imbued into a synthetic medium (i.e. computer or automaton).
The creation of artificial intelligence is ostensibly to offload menial and unbecoming tasks from their biological creators, often in the creation of a synthetic diaspora ranging from digital applications (residing within immobile computers) to an entire automated workforce of robots. This leads to an unbroken cycle causing strife, leading to a violent schism between creators and their creations.
In the Original Series, the robotic entities created by the reptilian Cylons (who later assimiliate the racial identity of their creators, thus becoming called "Cylons" themselves), are imbued with artificial intelligence of varying degrees (TOS: "Saga of a Star World"). In one such process, a biological entity of extraordinary power, imbued parts of itself (including their voice) to the machine leader of the Cylons (TOS: "War of the Gods, Part II").
Following the fall of the Cylons to their creations, the Colonials not only defended themselves during a Thousand-Yahren War from these aggressive machines, but also created rules by which fully-sentient artificial intelligences were strictly outlawed, with drones only having limited and controlled cognition as exemplified by the Muffit II (TOS: "Saga of a Star World").
In the Re-imagined Series narrative, the first recorded artificial intelligence was created on Kobol, leading to a schism and the exodus of the tribes: 12 tribes being human and forming the The Twelve Colonies of Kobol, with the 13th being cybernetic and forming a Thirteenth Colony known as Earth (TRS: "Revelations", "Sometimes a Great Notion", "No Exit").
The Thirteenth Colony, assuming the biological form of their creators in a form of racial assimilation, became complacent and forgetful of their origins. In time, the Thirteenth Tribe created their own artificial intelligence, which rose up against them and slaughtered their entire tribe, save a handful of persons who rediscovered then-ancient processes of organic memory transfer and fled their irradiated world (TRS: "Revelations", "Sometimes a Great Notion", "No Exit").
In the interim, the aforesaid Twelve Tribes warred against themselves, with Caprica and Tauron becoming imbued in technological creation of entities known as the Cybernetic Life-Form Node. Unbeknownst to them, Zoe Graystone creates the first known viable artificial intelligence, formed as a sentient avatar in her likeness residing in a virtual construct known as V-World. This avatar had the ability to inhabit a viable U-87 via stolen Tauron technology, and its creator, Dr. Daniel Graystone. After some haphazard experimentation, Dr. Graystone was able to replicate a reduced version of Zoe's artificial intelligence, thus making the U-87 project viable (CAP: "Pilot", "End of Line", "Blowback" and "Apotheosis"), leading to the creation of a Cylon diaspora across the Colonies and the schism of the First Cylon War (TRS: "Miniseries", "Blood & Chrome").
Despite the well-intentions of the sole-known survivors of Earth, who had hoped to prevent another violent schism between artificial and human life before it flared, the Earthlings found themselves able to intercede in the conflict, leading to an Armistice lasting some four decades. In that time, the Colonials eschewed all attempts at artificial intelligence research by rendering such forays illegal, despite the protestations of technologists (TRS: "Miniseries", "The Plan", "No Exit").
Later, the Earth refugees attempted to make Cylons more human, believing that would break the vicious cycle... however, in doing so, they unleashed a horrific series of events resulting in another exodus and a search for another planet, later dubbed Earth.
Some 150 millenia thereafter, this aforementioned planet is later visited by beings believing themselves to be messengers from a higher entity, observing a cycle where mingled descendants of those survivors have entered an age where forays into artificial intelligences are possible (TRS: "Daybreak, Part III").