HAL 9000

HAL 9000 is a character in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. The primary antagonist in 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft. Being a computer, HAL has no distinct physical form, though is visually represented as a red television-camera eye located on equipment panels throughout the ship. HAL is voiced by Douglas Rain in the two film adaptations of the Space Odyssey saga, and speaks in a soft, calm voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the crewmen, David Bowman and Frank Poole, who speak tersely and with little emotional inflection. HAL became operational on 12 January 1992, at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois, as production number 3; in the film 2001 the activation year was 1992, and 1991 in earlier screenplays. In addition to maintaining the Discovery One spacecraft systems during the interplanetary mission to Jupiter, HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting and reproducing emotional behaviours, reasoning, and playing chess.
HAL is listed as the 13th-greatest film villain in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains. In the French-language version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL's name is CARL, Cerveau Analytique de Recherche et de Liaison (Analytic Brain for Research and Communication), however, the television camera eye plates read "HAL 9000".

Origin of name
Although it is often conjectured that the name HAL was based on a one-letter shift from the name IBM, this has been denied by both Clarke and 2001 director Stanley Kubrick In 2010: Odyssey Two, Clarke speaks through the character of Dr. Chandra (he originally spoke through Dr. Floyd until Chandra was awoken), who characterized this idea as: "[u]tter nonsense!  I thought that by now every intelligent person knew that H-A-L is derived from Heuristic ALgorithmic".
Clarke more directly addressed this issue in his book The Lost Worlds of 2001:
As is clearly stated in the novel (Chapter 16), HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. However, about once a week some character spots the fact that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM, and promptly assumes that Stanley and I were taking a crack at the estimable institution ... As it happened, IBM had given us a good deal of help, so we were quite embarrassed by this, and would have changed the name had we spotted the coincidence.
Also, IBM is explicitly mentioned in the film 2001, as are many other real companies. IBM is given fictional credit as being the manufacturer of the Pan Am Clipper's computer, and the IBM logo can be seen in the center of the cockpit's instrument panel.
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