Ariel Waldman contributes Movie Gadget Friday, where she highlights the lovable and lame gadgets from the world of cinema.
Last week on Movie Gadget Friday we kicked off our two-part series in honor of the late Arthur C. Clarke with 2001: A Space Odyssey. This week continues our tribute as we look into some of the support systems on board Discovery 1 and the Leonov in 2010: The Year We Make Contact. While we hear Dave Bowman proclaim "My God, it's full of stars", we can't help but dig through this film full of gadgets.
Designed as an artificial emotional intelligence machine, the HAL 9000 and SAL 9000 require human interaction for enhanced performance. Represented by a blue camera eye and female voice, SAL 9000 served as a guide to monitoring potential reactions by the previously disabled HAL 9000. Both machines incorporate keyboard and audio input to communicate with intelligent carbon-based lifeforms (read: us). The HAL 9000 is adept at facial, vocal, and vital sign recognition and makes decisions based on a strict understanding of logic. HAL maintains numerous responsibilities while acting as the brain and central nervous system of Discovery 1. Though HAL appears to be programmed to protect the crew, there are obvious and inherent flaws in his logic programming, resulting in -- spoiler alert -- in committing homicide to resolve conflicting commands. More after the jump.