“In this article, see how HAL 9000, the computer in the 2001: A Space Odyssey movie [ed. note: for you cultural barbarians: that’s from (one of) the best director(s) ever], the smartest believable artificial intelligence so far in fiction, could predict equipment failure, answer personal questions, learn to sing ‘Bicycle built for Two’, and go insane, based on IBM Build to Manage Toolkit components. By the end of this article, you’ll see how autonomic computing can be implemented today; determine if there is such a thing as a Hofstadter-Moebius loop in programming; and discover if HAL stands for Heuristic ALgorithmic computer, Heuristic Autonomic Learner, or is simply the first three letters of a prankster holiday that occurs about this time of the year.”
Build a Space Odyssey HAL 9000 with Autonomic Computing
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2006-11-02 11:03 pmRonald Vos
Clarke explains in his foreword to ‘Rama’ that that was merely an unintended coincidence.
Ok, I may be reacting to a troll, but of course HAL was not invented for the movie, but for the book the movie was based upon, written by Arthur C. Clarke.
2006-11-02 2:22 pmjack_perry
The purpose of Clarke’s book was Kubrik’s movie. Clarke has described it this way: Kubrik approached him and suggested they collaborate on making “the proverbial good science fiction movie”. So in that sense at least, HAL was invented for the movie.
NB: I freely admit to being a cultural barbarian, but having watched several of his films, I say that Kubrik is one of the most overrated directors ever.
2006-11-02 4:45 pmthjayo
While I may not agree with you, I respect you opinion ’cause it’s pretty hard to see where exactly Kubrick’s geniality shows.
Man, are we off-topic…
2006-11-03 6:56 amWintermute
Offtopic alert, but f–k that…
Which of Kubrick’s films have you seen? While I can see why some people might consider 2001 to be overrated (at least I can understand how they come to such a conclusion), I think many other of Kubrick’s works are truly genius. Consider “A Clockwork Orange” and “Dr. Strangelove” witty irony, social commentary and a mind bending experience.
Personally, I really love 2001. But I guess to truly enjoy it you have to into certain things like realistic scifi (I hate noise in space) and the psychedelic culture.
I dunno. I quite liked fH
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I always thought HAL was formed from the letters IBM shifted left by one alphabetic position.
2006-11-02 4:59 pmDoc Pain
“I always thought HAL was formed from the letters IBM shifted left by one alphabetic position.”
No, it wasn’t intended that way. It was discovered later thatt this shifting was possible… and so obvious. 🙂
The movie was based on the short story The Sentinel by Arthur C Clarke.
Aha, HALloween humor article
Long after the movie came out and because of the IBM-1 pun on HAL, there actually was a computer company called HAL Inc (in ye olde silicon valley) that specialized in IBM compatible hardware built in ECL and CMOS arrays. Never really knew exactly what they did though.
I like the ending where you Dave enters the cabinet and pulls HALs chips, notice that Cmdr Data did the same in the Startrek NG series so there is some agreement that computers in the far future will use arrays of plastic optical chips.
posting not that far from Salem Mass, witch city of America
I have always felt that we are still in the Stone Age of computing, especially when it comes to PCs. Maybe I have watched too many SF movies
The least I epected by now or in the near future were PCs where the keyboard was replaced by a microphone, operating systems with self healing capabilities…
So where we are we now? Think of a PC with a QX6700, 16 GB RAM…That should have enough horsepower to accomplish what I suggest. It is software which is lagging behind badly, IMO.
I don’t know who’ll get there first. I don’t believe Vista will. OS X could, maybe…
Or perhaps is it going to be an entirely new OS?
2006-11-02 6:52 pmtransputer_guy
Yes we are in persistant PC infancy.
The no-keyboard-mice OS with natural voice language face & gesture communications could run on top of any OS out there, you really wouldn’t want it to deal with hardware so it would look like an app that consumes all resources.
On a joking note we already have the self heaTing capabilities..
The hardware is willing but I don’t see any software on the horizon, perhaps the hardware we have is not really suitable to build such software.
2006-11-02 7:06 pmAnonymous Penguin
“perhaps the hardware we have is not really suitable to build such software.”
Well, for instance hardware 64bit support has been available for quite a while, and it is getting better very fast. But I don’t see many 64bit apps.
Even less I see apps which can take advantage of 4 or more CPU cores.
2006-11-02 9:58 pmtransputer_guy
This sort of gets back to my thesis, hardware currently has a Memory Wall that continues to grow, that makes software that manipulates large data sets run much slower with all those cache & TLB misses. I’d bet the kind of app that would simulate HAL would have an enormouse working set of maybe 100s gigabytes of “distributed knowledge” (what else does 10^10 neurons do). What the current crop of cpus are good at is running media codecs and the like that does alot of DSP on small tiles of pixel data. I am sure knowledge software is the complete inverse of that.
A 64 bit address aspace should help on the size of the knowledge base but the Memory Wall esp to hard disk stops the software from connecting it all up. I bet that distributed multiprocessors on a chip with real support for concurrency will be much better suited for AI software. Years ago Transputers produced lots of AI conference papers.
Yes, but there was no HAL in “the Sentinal” just the man who became Heywood Floyd and the Monolith on the Moon.
(H+1 = I, A+1=B, L+1=M ergo HAL+1=IBM)