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" I think that computers today allow us one last opportunity to provide something like a level playingfield in America."
- William Gibson

HAL 9000  
  The canonical example of an artificially intelligent computer.  

Just to give you some idea of how far-fetched this machine was, consider just the voice recognition capability of the HAL 9000. In 1966, researchers Bhimani, Merrill, Mitchell, and Stark stated that a person sitting at a desk, could potentially, by means of a small digitizer and a telephone, communicate with a database on a mainframe. At that time, on the IBM 360/60 mainframe, each initial analysis of a sample required 85 seconds of processor time for each second of the sample being translated.

"Hal, switch to manual hibernation control."

"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

"Hal, I am in command of this ship. I order you to release the manual hibernation control."

"I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently."

"Hal," said Bowman, now speaking with an icy calm. "I am not incapacitated. Unless you obey my instructions, I shall be forced to disconnect you."

"I know you have had that on your mind for some time now, Dave, but that would be a terrible mistake. I am so much more capable than you are of supervising the ship, and I have such enthusiasm for the mission and confidence in its success."

"Listen to me very carefully, Hal. Unless you release the hibernation control immediately and follow every order I give from now on, I'll go to Central and carry out a complete disconnection."

Hal's surrender was as total as it was unexpected. "O.K., Dave," he said. "You're certainly the boss. I was only trying to do what I thought best. Naturally, I will follow all your orders. You now have full manual hibernation control."

From 2001: A Space Odyssey , by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Del Rey in 1968
Additional resources -

The sixth member of the crew cared for none of these things, for it was not human. It was the highly advanced HAL 9000 computer, the brain and nervous system of the ship. HAL (for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer, no less) was a masterwork of the third computer breakthrough. These seemed to occur at intervals of twenty years, and the thought that another one was now imminent already worried a great many people.

Would you like to meet the first fictional chess-playing machine? See automaton chessplayer, from Moxon's Master, written by Ambrose Bierce in 1910.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from 2001: A Space Odyssey
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to 2001: A Space Odyssey
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

HAL 9000-related news articles:
  - Robots and Emotion: Tetchy the Turtle Meets HAL-9000
  - Dyson Intelligent Vacuum Cleaner Is Self-Diagnosing
  - XPod Activity And Emotion Aware Mobile Music Player
  - Starfish Robot Shows Robotic Introspection And Self-Modeling
  - Robot Walks After Conceptualizing Own Structure
  - Computerized Lip-Reading Crime Fighters
  - Big Brother To Read Lips Like HAL
  - HAL-Buffett 9000 To Make 50 Percent Of Trades By 2010
  - OKAO Vision Lets Machines See You Smile
  - Frustration-Detection System Patented By Microsoft
  - Nanny Robot Senses Emotions Of Autistic Children
  - Roomba Detects Emotions Like HAL-9000
  - Machine Dispenses Snacks When Economy Goes Bad
  - Computer Learns Sign Language From TV
  - Robots Learn To Lie
  - Computers Now Lip Read Like Humans
  - Samurai CCTV System Targets Suspicious People
  - Nokia Feel Emotional Recommendation Engine
  - SASI Sarcasm Recognition A Really Useful Invention
  - Brian Robot Reads Your Emotions, Then Creeps You Out
  - Computer Recognizes Human Emotions From Conversation
  - Robot Pianist Is Self-Correcting
  - Antenna Repairmen In Fact And Fiction
  - Voice Stress Detection In Emergency Callers
  - Computer Knows You're Mad, Chills You Out
  - Kinect 2 Could Read Lips - Like HAL
  - MIT Smile Research Knows Your Real One
  - Deceptive Robots Learn Lying From Squirrels
  - Could You Kill A Robot With Human Characteristics?
  - Auto Emotion Detector Lets Your Car Know Your Mood
  - Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
  - Data Mining Computers Detect Your Emotions
  - Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001
  - Twitter Sarcasm Detected By Computer
  - Computers Learning To Read Lips
  - IBM Tone Analyzer - Like HAL 9000
  - Robots That 'Feel' Real Emotions
  - AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000
  - LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
  - An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Shelley.ai AI Terrifies Thanks To Reddit's Nosleep
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?

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