"My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm afraid." Fifty years after audiences first saw, or rather, heard, HAL 9000, the homicidal artificial intelligence in "2001: A Space Odyssey," its melancholy end still evokes a pang of empathy. Thanks, in part, to the film's much-vaunted accuracy in depicting the peculiarities of space travel, Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece ranks among the greatest science fiction films ever made. Unlike most sci-fi flicks, which are typically crammed full of action and noise, Kubrick was unafraid to let his audience experience the slowness and silence of space.
But speaking of accuracy, where are we with HAL? In the movie, it demonstrates mastery of, among other things, space travel, chess, chitchat, art appreciation and, with disastrous results, lip-reading. Never mind the half-century since Kubrick co-invented this miraculous machine with author, Arthur C. Clarke, it's been 17 years since the eponymous space-odyssey was supposed to take place. Are we there yet with AI?
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