Crosby_M (
Tue, 7 Jan 1997 11:59:58 -0500

Eugene wrote:
<When browsing through various local bookshops today I noticed the
following book: HAL, the Legacy (or something) from MIT Press. It
features a series of interviews with several major movers from AI
field & otherwise, e.g. Marvin Minsky and Stephen Wolfram, etc. on
behalf of the legendary 2001 movie by S. Kubrick. Intelligently
written, the book contains criticisms of the 2001 movie and an
analysis what has been achieved, what is yet lacking, and what the
reasons might be. Highly readable.>

Perhaps HAL is now becoming an icon for computer intelligence because
the original "2001" movie had the HAL 9000 system being activated on
12 Jan 1997 (supposedly because Kubrick thought, at the time, that
this was sufficiently far in the future for such an AI to be

This week's Computerworld (a mainstream information systems newspaper)
contained a 'tribute' to this where, supposedly, the University at
Urbana (Illinois) is actually going to activate a system they will
call HAL on this date. However, the article wasn't too clear about
whether there was going to be a real system or whether they were just
refering to where HAL from the movie was built.

The article was primarily an brief interview with Marvin Minsky,
Nathan Myhrvold, James Hogan and Nicolas Negroponte on the feasibility
of computer intelligence (with nothing that anyone on these lists
wouldn't be familiar with). I did think it was interesting (at least
for such a mainstream publication) that they had a sidebar about
computers and souls where Minsky says souls, if they have any function
at all, would be programmable.

Mark Crosby