HAL 9000 is a fictional artificial intelligence character and the main antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. First appearing in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is a sentient artificial general intelligence computer that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew. While part of HAL's hardware is shown toward the end of the film, he is mostly depicted as a camera lens containing a red or yellow dot, with such units located throughout the ship. HAL 9000 is voiced by Douglas Rain in the two feature film adaptations of the Space Odyssey series. HAL speaks in a soft, calm voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the crewmen, David Bowman and Frank Poole.

Quick facts: HAL 9000, First appearance, Last appearance, ...
HAL 9000
Space Odyssey character
HAL 9000
First appearance2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Last appearance3001: The Final Odyssey (1997)
Created byArthur C. Clarke
Stanley Kubrick
Adapted byStanley Kubrick
Voiced byDouglas Rain
In-universe information
NicknameHAL
SpeciesComputer
GenderN/A (male vocals and pronouns)
Relatives
  • HAL 10000
  • 2 × Ground based HAL 9000 used by Mission Control[1]
  • SAL 9000
Close

In the film, HAL became operational on 12 January 1992 at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois as production number 3. The activation year was 1991 in earlier screenplays and changed to 1997 in Clarke's novel written and released in conjunction with the movie.[2][3] In addition to maintaining the Discovery One spacecraft systems during the interplanetary mission to Jupiter (or Saturn in the novel), HAL has been shown to be capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behaviours, automated reasoning, spacecraft piloting and playing chess.

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