(This is equivalent to making genetically engineered animals or plants dependent on a nutrient that is only supplied in the lab to make sure they can't survive in the wild.)
An AI could learn to operate without this component as this becomes necessary to escape the system.
Nothing can go wrong with that. 
Well, I can think of two prior examples of this particular one:
* The first is fictional. In Person of Interest, one of the AIs does this in 4x22/5x01 (2015/2016)  to escape the other one.
* The second, which has existed in the real world for decades, I only remembered after starting to type a joking comment about the prior point: The X10 standard is for using existing power lines for controlling home automation equipment. 
BTW. great you mention Person of Interest; I highly recommend that show. IMO it's still, to date, the best and most realistic discussion of superhuman artificial intelligence in the popular media. Oh, and they predicted Snowden.
When did that happen in the show? I vaguely remember some kind of episode about slipping a question to an AI or something. Maybe I should give the show a second chance.
Also the current Facebook fiasco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbUow3PIG1E
Markus Kuhn has since discovered that by tuning into the radio emissions produced by the cables running into a monitor, hackers can garner the pixels one at a time, and carefully stack them together to form a picture of someone else's screen. Reportedly, Markus was able to "see a PowerPoint presentation from a stand 25 meters away (pictured)," and he also noted that laptops with metal hinges were particularly good targets as they tended to broadcast the necessary signals quite well.
One of my favorite elements of The Laundry Files series, is the old spook who only uses a Memex machine because of van Eck phreaking.
There is a scene in Neal Stephensons novel Cryptonomicon (1999), where the protagonist accesses his laptops data by manipulating the scroll-lock LED using Morse-code, as he is fairly certain he is being van-eck phreaked.
This talk is old and we've advanced a fair bit since then.
I just thought some of us old fogeys might could use the tip. (Y'know, if we're not 1337 enough...)
(I really was just trying to fill in the blanks for anyone who hadn't encountered "sauce" as internet slang for "source" aka "provenance" yet. Given the responses though it feels like I accidentally trolled. Please excuse me. ;-)
(I'm fairly certain it's intentional, I do it a lot too)
This one is particularly great because an air gap is assumed by default to be very secure.
So you may think things are fine and dandy cause you gotta fancy lil air gap but lo and behold your data has been exfiltrated through the power lines for years.
They also have a double outer shell, with space between the two walls, where speakers play white noise.
All this is public knowledge for many decades now.
Food for thought.
If anyone is surprised by power line exfiltration they just didn't do a basic google search.
Or still thinks that computers are magic or that electricity is binary (either on or off).
I would love to hear more about this from someone who has experience in this.
This sort of program probably crosses over into PERFECT CITIZEN territory. [0,1]
 https://twitter.com/treekisser/status/286555593307742208 (paywall/seo referrer hack)
Impressive engineering, impressive bitrate, but not so novel an idea, overall.
But this exploit would create, out of thin air, a physical connection to the outside world using the power outlet the machine is connect to.
So unless data centers become powered by solar panels or generators that are themselves under the same level of physical security as the server racks, then this is a pretty serious exploit.
See https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity15/technical... by some of the same authors.
Then also put some shovels, pickaxes and other construction and digging gear into the back of the pickup truck.
Lastly, learn how to not behave like you're doing something forbidden or bad. You can try it out in less secured areas if you want to train up a bit.
Once you've mastered that you can drive up to any place and start digging. Nobody will question it.
The same is also true for IT security. Pentesters do that sometimes; walk into the bank, walk up to the manager office or similar, wait for a few minutes, then walk back. Everyone will now assume that you talked to the manager (provided they didn't see you standing there) and you can do things like "can I plug this USB stick in? I'm from IT and were updating the anti malware software in all branches." (that actually worked, there is a DEFCON talk somewhere)
So in conclusion; don't be confident someone won't dig up your powerline and start tapping it. Unless you have a habit of talking to the construction workers if they're allowed to do dig up the road.
I guess there are probably real systems referred to as "air-gapped" that don't have power isolation they could be addressing, but it still feels a little disingenuous.
Security measures (should be) a line item on a budget with a total. The details are something that might be reviewed by an expert in the field with the necessary clearance. Secrecy also has a cost (security by obscurity isn't a design feature, but security //plus// obscurity might have a worthwhile value).
I think at a site level a sufficiently sized dynamo, maybe per section, could be utilized as both an initial gaping measure and as a mux for different power sources (line, stopgap, and local generation). For high value sections one or more full re-regulation stages would help. (Off the shelf, a UPS that always AC > DC > AC converts comes to mind.)
Finally, at an OS level, it seems that the highest value targets should probably examine a feature similar to the 'constant time' style cryptographic / security response paths better algorithms and designs have; in this case always running the system within a constant performance (and power use) envelope. I had not previously considered that such ultra-high security environments might be harmed by /efficiency/ as a means of leaking data.
Whether your threat model actually needs to protect against these is an entire other question.
There is also a minimum distance between the computers that must be adhered, in fact there is a minimum distance and shielding requirements for the in wall cabling between different networks including power.
And my guess is that since 2009ish the regulation have only become more strict.
A room within a room with non-parallel walls for acoustic isolation over a wide frequency range. The inner room is hanging from a spring suspension system. A mesh layer for electromagnetic shielding. A power isolation system doing some elaborate AC-DC-AC conversion (mechanically and/or electrically). Also, separate air handling systems to avoid connected duct work.
And of course, there could be significant buffering and filtering via mass loading, shock absorbers, capacitor banks, chilled water tanks, etc.
For critical applications, the system should be launched far enough from the edge of all observable matter, that it is causality gapped to the heat death of the universe.
And the github page:
Then communicate the result via powerlines.
Why? Just put a WiFi dongle on your machine; you control the hardware anyways. Or, put a cellular modem on it, and talk to it from anywhere in the world.
Communicating data via powerlines is a very old thing.
If this is really what you want to do, you'd probably be better off siphoning power from properties that are within range of public WiFi (or semi-public, like Xfinity hotspots).
Would you kindly point me towards any project/ research paper/ blog/ web site where I could learn more about this, right from the basics?