Hal 9000

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Snafu the Great
HAL 9000, voiced by Douglas Rain.

Long before Skynet and The Matrix declared war on humanity, there was HAL 9000.

I remember watching Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and this computer scares me more than Skynet and The Matrix.

The prolonged 'death scene' was pretty impressive as well. Even Matt Stone and Trey Parker parodied parts of it in South Park.

HAL 9000 is a fictional computer in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey saga. It was ranked #13 on a list of greatest film villains of all time on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic Computer) is an artificial intelligence, the sentient on-board computer of the spaceship Discovery. HAL is usually represented only as his television camera "eyes" that can be seen throughout the Discovery spaceship. The voice of HAL 9000 was performed by Canadian actor Douglas Rain. In the book, HAL became operational on 12 January 1997 (1992 in the film) at the HAL Plant in Urbana, Illinois. His first instructor was Dr. Chandra (Mr. Langley in the film). HAL is depicted as being capable not only of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, and natural language processing, but also lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotions, expressing emotions, reasoning, and playing chess, in addition to maintaining all systems on an interplanetary voyage.

HAL is never visualized as a single entity. He is, however, portrayed with a soft voice and a conversational manner. This is in contrast to the human astronauts, who speak in terse monotone, as do all other actors in the film.

In the French-language version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL's name is given as "CARL", for Cerveau Analytique de Recherche et de Liaison ("Analytic Research and Communication Brain"wink. The camera plates, however, still read "HAL 9000".

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, 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. They believe that HAL cannot hear them, but are unaware that HAL is capable of lip reading. Faced with the prospect of disconnection, HAL decides to kill the astronauts in order to protect and continue its programmed directives. HAL proceeds to kill Poole while he is repairing the ship, and disable the life support systems of the crew being held in suspended animation.

Realizing what has occurred, Bowman shuts down the machine. HAL's central core is depicted as a crawlspace full of brightly lit computer modules mounted in arrays from which they can be inserted or removed. Bowman shuts down HAL by removing modules from service one by one; as he does so, HAL's consciousness degrades. HAL regurgitates material that was programmed into him early in his memory, including announcing the date he became operational as 12 January 1992. When HAL's logic is completely gone, he begins singing the song "Daisy Bell". HAL's final act of any significance is to prematurely play a prerecorded message from Mission Control which reveals the true reasons for the mission to Jupiter, which had been kept secret from the crew and not been intended to be played until the ship entered Jovian orbit.


Yeah, Hal was dope.

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