Marvin, a classic example of a GPP, as seen in the 2005 film

FORD: They make a big thing of the ship’s cybernetics. “A new generation of Sirius Cybernetics robots and computers, with the new GPP feature.”
Fit the Second, Primary Phase of the radio series[src]

Genuine People Personalities or GPPs were an invention of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. These products were imbued with artificial intelligence and emotion, however, GPPs are known for being pointless or irritating, often serving their desired purpose but in an unconventional or unhelpful way. Marvin the android is an example of a Genuine People Personality.

Examples of GPPs

The starship Heart of Gold contained numerous Genuine People Personalities, which were advertised in the sales brochure, which Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect read upon arriving on the ship. The airlock doors made content noises and said phrases such as "glad to be of service" every time they opened and closed. As Marvin said: “All the doors in this spacecraft have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.”[1]  

Marvin was a failed Genuine People Personality prototype and one of the main characters of the Hitchhiker's series. He was made, much against his own wishes, to replicate human emotions and intelligence, however, he was given "a brain the size of a planet" which resulted in him feeling severely under-appreciated and his skills under-utilised. He had a depressive personality and a tendency towards self-deprecating comments and behaviour. Although he seemed to be created to aid the crew on board the Heart of Gold, he was mostly unhelpful; often choosing the laziest option available, if responding at all. He often blamed his lack of response on the "terrible pain in all the diodes down his left side," which was due to unresolved flaws in his programming.

MARVIN: “Let’s build robots with Genuine People Personalities,” they said. So they tried it out with me. I’m a personality prototype, you can tell, can’t you?
Fit the Second, Primary Phase of the radio series[src]

The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser was an appliance on which provided the user with drinks, however, the substance it provided was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. This did little to please Arthur, who wanted a cup of tea, and the Nutrimatic machine then went on to occupy all of the Heart of Gold's computers when trying to calculate why Arthur would want to drink tea.

Eddie, the shipboard computer on board the Heart of Gold, was a GPP with an enormous amount of control over the ship's computers, however, he was irritatingly chirpy which resulted in him being mostly ignored by those on board the starship. He could communicate with other GPPs on board the ship, such as the doors and the Nutrimatic machines.

Colin the security robot appeared in the book Mostly Harmless and in the Quintessential Phase of the radio series, where he saved Ford Prefect's life. He was made by Sirius Cybernetics and was described as over-excitable and annoying, like almost all other robotic GPPs.

Happy Vertical People Transporters were the Sirius Cybernetic brand of lifts which were used in the offices of Megadodo Publications - later Infinidim Enterprises - where the Guide was made. They were able to see into the future, which meant that the lifts could take an entirely different journey than the one the user wanted, in an attempt to avoid damage or danger, however they neglected to inform the passenger as to why they were going down instead of up, for example, resulting in unhappy customers.


Genuine People Personalities appear in the following:




Video games


  1. From Fit the Second of the Primary Phase of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series