In 2001: A Space Odyssey, several astronauts go on a mysterious mission towards Jupiter. The ship they travel in is controlled by a super-intelligent computer, HAL, who is supposedly incapable of making a mistake. However, the computer does make a mistake, arousing suspicions of the crewmembers that it is either flawed or lying. After HAL then kills several of the crewmembers, the remaining crewmember goes to shut it down and take manual control of the ship.
I love the character of HAL in general: the apparent “pride” he (it?) takes in his supposed infallibility and super-intelligence, the semi-human robotic voice, the glowing red eye-like cameras from which he sees the ship. It is fascinating to consider whether artificial intelligence has emotions in the way that humans do or whether it can only simulate emotions. Since we don’t know if HAL really feels emotions or is capable of empathy, his actions are completely unpredictable. In this scene, when HAL is faced with deactivation, he certainly seems to show fear, desperation, and an instinct for self-preservation. This scene is brilliantly disturbing, and I especially love the red lighting, the changes in HAL’s voice and the song he sings.