Ambients are a race of holographic beings created by A22 Enterprises.
The ambients were initially designed for security and military purposes; due to their holographic nature, they would be immune to normal weapons. However, the lead researcher of the project, Rain disappeared along with all of the research before it could ever be exploited by A22. Rain had, in fact, traveled to Antarctica with a small team of scientists in an attempt to break free from the limitations imposed on her research by society. During her time in Antarctica, she created a large quantity of the ambients, before she disappeared for good.
Most ambients are completely non-sentient; they are an advanced AI which has only one purpose: survival. However, there is one notable exception to this, being Coal Algebraic, a humanoid ambient with seemingly human intelligence.