Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days Of Killer Robots: Day 5

Hey all, Counterfett here! As the number of workdays until Christmas trickles away even for us, we get closer and closer to the pinnacle of Killer Robots. Today again we have an example from the cinema, and while this technically is another AI, I include it because it is so important to cinematic history, as well as the way we think about synthetic intelligence.
#8: HAL9000

HAL9000 is one of the most influential AI villains in the history of cinema. When you say in a calm mellow voice: "I'm sorry, I can't do that Dave." everyone knows to what you are referring. HAL9000, was the ship AI/computer in 2001: Space Odyssey. While I only saw the movie one time, when I was a kid, I still remember the creepy computer voice thing. The spookiest part was when all the logic plugs were removed, and the thing starts flashing back to its earlier life, talking about its startup date, and singing 'Daisy Bell' (a reference most Mass Effect fans will remember fondly).
I include HAL both for his iconic nature, and also because of how many cues he takes from Asimov's Laws of Robotics. Namely HAL9000 suffers a logic contradiction, he has orders to keep the true purpose of the mission secret from the human crew, but has programming to prevent him from lying to the crew. As such, HAL deems the correct course of action is to kill the crew, obviating the need for falsehood.
Robot-villain logic...AWAY!


Mike Howell said...

Say what you will about the LSD trip of the rest of that movie (and the soundtrack composed by an angry swarm of bees in a jar) HAL is a thing of beauty.

MIK said...

Too epic for words.