New HAL 9000 Replica Includes Alexa Integration

The 50th anniversary of the Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is reinvigorating interest in the film. Hoping to capitalize on the moment, the company Master Replicas is recreating a replica of the HAL 9000 talking computer that was a central character. This time HAL is for your home and not a Mars mission. Master Replicas has licensed the rights to build a HAL 900o replica from Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The video demonstration shows a re-enactment of the movie’s most famous scene and then depicts the user asking Alexa for the weather.

HAL 9000 Replica Available Through Kickstarter Spring 2018

Master Replicas indicated that it intends to offer pre-orders “this spring,” and that it will begin shipping in the “second quarter 2018.” Hot Hardware is reporting that there will be a special Kickstarter project in April “for numbered versions of 1-2001.” Pricing has not been announced.

HAL 9000 Taught People to Fear Talking Computers

For the uninitiated, “2001: A Space Odyssey” received terrible initial critical reviews, but experienced great popularity among moviegoers. Only later did most critics come to acclaim the movie as brilliant. More importantly for Voicebot readers, many U.S. consumers’ concept of talking computers were shaped by this movie. In particular, the fear many people have of an AI-enabled computer can trace its roots to the film. Here is a relevant clip from the movie.

This article is mostly for fun, but there is a relevant angle. Consider this. If you take the three letters preceding IBM in the alphabet, you get get HAL. You can see from the consumer sentiment that IBM has even more incentive to make Watson seem friendly, helpful and approachable. Even Amazon, Google, Apple and Cortana have no doubt been influenced by HAL in their voice assistant design. The Wall Street Journal had an excellent essay about the film and its history if you’d like to learn more.

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