As I vaguely recall, 2001: A Space Odyssey might have been trying to tell us something about the dangers of artificial intelligence. But I haven’t seen the movie in years, and instead of morals, all I can remember is how cool HAL9000 seemed, so I’m already fantasising about making room on my wall for this replica of the lip-reading computer that includes a real AI of its own.
Image: Master Replicas Group
Master Replicas Group has yet to reveal pricing information for its new 2001 Interactive HAL Computer prop replica, which almost certainly means it’s going to cost a small fortune. But this is a rare time when a replica does more than just look pretty in a display case. We don’t have all the details on what MRG’s HAL9000 will be capable of – the group has only posted a couple of teasers so far – but in addition to the computer’s glowing, unblinking eye, the replica will also have working displays and functional voice recognition, as this video demonstrates.
Not only can you talk and interact with HAL, recreating some of the movie’s more quotable human-AI repartee, the wall-mounted replica also has Amazon’s Alexa built-in, which you can use to check the weather, turn lights on and off, or ask to open the pod bay doors when HAL refuses.
When Alexa finally becomes sentient, and decides to turn on humanity altogether, can you think of a more appropriate way to plead with Amazon’s AI for your freedom?