Let’s face it: Siri is a pretty astounding bit of technology, but even its creators aren’t going to argue any time soon that it’s quite on the level of HAL 9000, the murderous artificial intelligence seen in Stanley Kubrick’s classic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
As the below hilarious reimagining of one of the film’s most iconic scenes makes abundantly clear. Check it out:
At the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s cosmic exploration on the evolution of mind in the universe, a bunch of man-apes in Africa discover a mysterious, jet black monolith. Upon touching it, almost worshipfully, they make an evolutionary leap in intelligence and begin to use the bones of animals as clubs to wage war upon competing tribes of apes.
2001’s monolith is iconic, and it’s common to joke about the similarity in shape between Kubrick’s big, ominous slab of intelligence-evolving basalt and Steve Jobs’s iPhone, but man, whoever built this 2001 docking station for his iPhone out of LEGO bricks — complete with tiny LEGO bones and monkeys, with the iPhone standing as the monolith above a worshipful tribe of man apes — just ran with it.
Back in 2001, a freelance copywriter named Vinnie Chieco who was hired to help Apple come up with a name for their MP3 player took one look at the device and exclaimed: “Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL!” And thus, the iPod was christened.
Chieco was making a tongue-in-cheek pop reference to Stanley Kubrick’s transcendental sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which a ship’s onboard AI, HAL 9000, makes an evolutionary leap after coming in radio contact with a monolith circling Jupiter. Acting erratically, HAL 9000 eventually lashes out, revealing a murderous new self-preservation instinct when his human charges want to shut him down.
Perhaps because HAL isn’t exactly cinema’s most touchy-feely computer, Apple wasn’t willing to embrace the association between 2001 and the iPod line. But now that HAL’s soothingly detached cadence and artificial intelligence capabilities have been mimicked by Siri, perhaps it’s time to revisit the connection with ThinkGeek’s new Iris 9000 voice control module that will let you Siri from across the room… or trapped on the opposite side of the pod bay doors rocketing through deep space.
Make HAL proud and help Siri touch the monolith. It only costs $59.99.