Cortana has been a central character in the Halo universe since the franchise first started. She is an artificial intelligence and her character appears to be naked. According to Halo franchise development director, Frank O’Connor, this is far from the truth.
“She’s not actually nude because she has neither clothes nor private parts,” O’Connor said in an interview with GamesRadar. “She’s effectively just wearing kind of a holographic body stocking; that’s the conceit. However [being naked is what it] makes you think of.”
AI characters in the Halo universe choose how they want to appear in the Halo universe, to reflect their personalities. Most AIs choose to wear some sort of clothing, but Cortana is far different than every other AI out there.
“In Cortana’s case, because she’s illegally cloned from a real human brain, she’s a little bit different than other AIs,” O’Connor stated. “And one of the reasons she [dresses as she does] is to attract and demand attention. And she does it to put people off so that they’re on their guard when they’re talking to her and that she has the upper hand in those conversations.”
O’Connor points out that Cortana is portrayed how she is too make other people uncomfortable when they are addressing her, so that she will have the upper hand in all conversations.
“She’s kind of projecting that back out to her audience and winning points, intellectual points, as a result,” O’Connor said. “Again that’s not why she was designed like that; that’s kind of how we backed into our fiction. But that’s the conceit and that’s why she does it. And she expresses that in her other behaviors and we’ve invested in that aspect of her persona.”
The latest installment of the franchise, Halo 5: Guardians, launched on October 27th, exclusively for the Xbox One.