The Thinking Machines are machines in an empire controlled by the computer evermind known as Omnius. They were first created by the old Empire to do everyday tasks for humans. The old empire was overthrown by the Twenty Titans who used these machines to conquer it. During the time of the Butleruan Jihad most thinking machines were controlled by Omnius with a few exceptions. The only notable ones of these exceptions are Erasmus, who killed Serena Butler's infant son while she was his slave, and Seurat, Vorian Atredies' machine partner during the time he served in the Omnius Empire.
The term '''''Thinking Machines''''' referred to both actual beings and a general concept, both of which had a profound impact on the development of [[human]]ity over the span of many millennia.
Following the rise of the actual thinking machines, and the physical and psychological damage they inflicted on the free humans, the very concept of a sentient machine became abhorrent to humanity and they were obliterated by the Butlerian Jihad.
Animosity against seemingly intelligent machines often escalated into outright hysteria, and resulted in a widespread hatred of mechanical objects. This hatred lasted through the ages thanks to rigid cultural restrictions, a good example of which was the Orange Catholic Bible's supreme commandment: Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.