HAL 9000


HAL 9000 is a fictional artificial intelligence character and the main antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke‘s Space Odyssey series. First appearing in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically Programmed ALgorithmic Computer) is a sentient HAL/AL 9000-series computer (or artificial general intelligence) that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship’s astronaut crew. While part of HAL’s hardware is shown toward the end of the film, he is mostly depicted as a camera lens containing a red or yellow dot, instances of which are located throughout the ship. HAL 9000 is voiced by Douglas Rain in the two feature film adaptations of the Space Odyssey series. HAL speaks in a soft, calm voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the crewmen, David Bowman and Frank Poole. In the film, HAL became operational on 12 January 1992 at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois as production number 3. The activation year was 1991 in earlier screenplays and changed to 1997 in Clarke’s novel written and released in conjunction with the movie. In addition to maintaining the Discovery One spacecraft systems during the interplanetary mission to Jupiter (or Saturn in the novel), HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behaviours, automated reasoning, spacecraft piloting and playing chess. HAL became operational in Urbana, Illinois, at the HAL Plant (the University of Illinois‘s Coordinated Science Laboratory, where the ILLIAC computers were built). … In 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), HAL is initially considered a dependable member of the crew, maintaining ship functions and engaging genially with his human crew-mates on an equal footing. As a recreational activity, Frank Poole plays chess against HAL. In the film, the artificial intelligence is shown to triumph easily. However, as time progresses, HAL begins to malfunction in subtle ways and, as a result, the decision is made to shut down HAL in order to prevent more serious malfunctions. The sequence of events and manner in which HAL is shut down differs between the novel and film versions of the story. In the aforementioned game of chess HAL makes minor and undetected mistakes in his analysis, a possible foreshadowing to HAL’s malfunctioning. In the film, astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole consider disconnecting HAL’s cognitive circuits when he appears to be mistaken in reporting the presence of a fault in the spacecraft’s communications antenna. …”
Wikipedia
NY Times – The Story of a Voice: HAL in ‘2001’ Wasn’t Always So Eerily Calm
NY Times – Happy 50th, HAL: Our Favorite Pop-Culture References to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
The MIT Press: Did HAL Commit Murder? (Video)
YouTube: Frank plays chess with HAL aboard Discovery, HAL 9000 is a conspiracy theorist, Hal 9000 Reads Lips, Deactivation of Hal 9000

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