HAL 9000 is a fictional character in Arthur C. Clarke’s Space Odyssey series. The primary antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is a sentient computer (or artificial intelligence) that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship’s astronaut crew. HAL’s physical form is not depicted, though it is visually represented as a red television camera eye located on equipment panels throughout the ship.
HAL 9000 is voiced by Douglas Rain in the two 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, who speak tersely and with little emotional inflection.
HAL became operational on 12 January 1997 at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois as production number 3; in the film 2001, the activation year was 1992 and 1991 in earlier screenplays.1 In addition to maintaining the Discovery One spacecraft systems during the interplanetary mission to Jupiter (or Saturn in the original novel, published shortly after the release of the film), HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting and reproducing emotional behaviours, reasoning, and playing chess.
HAL is listed as the 13th-greatest film villain in the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes and Villains. In the French-language version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL’s name is CARL, Cerveau Analytique de Recherche et de Liaison (Analytic Brain for Research and Communication), however, the television camera eye plates still read “HAL 9000”.