2001: A Space Odyssey
︎︎︎ Samuel Butler
︎︎︎ The Matrix
︎︎︎ Ex Machina
︎︎︎ Ben Bogart
Left to its own devices, HAL suspects that the humans are sabotaging the planned mission to Jupiter, and it begins to restrict their control, finally deciding to kill them in order to save the mission. But Bowman narrowly escapes, and makes his way to HAL’s computer processing core where he methodically disconnects the various circuits that produce HAL’s consciousness. HAL maintains a calm and controlled voice trying to assure Bowman that it can change its plan. But as Bowman slowly deactivates HAL’s memory, it begs Bowman to stop, expressing its fear, its feeling of loss—then finally devolving to its earliest operational state.
At this point in the film, viewers are invited to consider our limited assumptions about the nature of sentience, and, specifically, its formation in machines.
The film’s director, Stanley Kubrick, and his co-writer for the screenplay, Arthur C. Clarke, conceived of an artificial intelligence that had achieved a consciousness that closely resembled that of humans—recognizing within this a very real likelihood of fallibility.
The question of fallibility and error(s) in judgement produced by the actions of an artificial intelligence is a persistent theme, from the 1950s onward, in literature, art and, most notably, film.
Text To Speech
Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey (excerpts), 1968, film transferred to digital video, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer