HAL 9000 Analysis

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Regarding artificial intelligence in fiction, whether it is in books or movies, one of the greatest and most popular examples is the HAL 9000. The fiction character HAL 9000 is a heuristically programmed algorithmic computer and stars in the 1968 classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, the HAL 9000 just may be the most “true to life” or realistic artificial intelligent computer in all of fiction. Some may argue that this character is a good example of “Strong AI”, or strong artificial intelligence, which refers to the hypothesis that computers can potentially be programmed to be capable of thought due to the idea that the human mind is simply no more than a computational device itself. This fictional character is most certainly an example of “Strong AI” because the character HAL 9000 not only shows signs of self-awareness but also is capable of true reasoning. In the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the main character is a heuristically programmed algorithmic computer named HAL 9000. Throughout the film the HAL 9000 presents multiple signs of both self-awareness, specifically referring to feelings and motives, and capabilities of true reasoning. An important, yet very subtle, chess scene between the HAL 9000 and one of the other movie characters, named Dave, perfectly demonstrates an instance in which the HAL 9000 presents capabilities of true reasoning. In this short scene of the movie there is a chess match already in progress and very close to the end of the game. The HAL 9000 plays a move for check mate and wins the match. This does not seem significant, interesting or relevant at all if not for a very crucial truth. The move the HAL 9000 makes is a very clever move and is a move any expert chess player would have made. However... ... middle of paper ... ... that this artificial intelligence is not only capable of true reasoning ability but is also self-aware, for instance having feelings or motives. The HAL 9000 character demonstrates both of these implications of strong artificial intelligence numerous times throughout the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and multiple examples were given earlier. The HAL 9000 presents the capability of true reasoning very subtly during a chess match with a crewmember named Dave by cleverly obtaining check mate rather than obtaining in the faster and more “computational way”. HAL’s self-awareness is also demonstrated when he indicates feelings of paranoia and when he intentionally kills members of the crew due to unclear motives, yet feelings nonetheless were evident. Overall the fictional character the HAL 9000 is most certainly an example of strong artificial intelligence, or “Strong AI”.
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