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  2. AI Episode 2: What Does An AI Teaching Assistant Look Like?
  3. AI Episode 3: Implications for Thought Leaders and Policy Developers
  4. Introducing Simulations into Teacher Preparation Programs
  5. Assistive Technology to Support Writing
  6. Enhancing Instruction and Empowering Educators with AI Tools and Technology
  7. So, AI Ruined Your Term Paper Assignment?
  8. Step by Step Use of Chat GPT
  9. CIDDL ChatGPT: Summarizing Text
  10. CIDDL ChatGPT: Solving Multiple Choice Questions
  11. Equity, Diversity, and Access to Technology in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
  12. CIDDL ChatGPT: Writing Programs
  13. CIDDL ChatGPT: Solving Word Problems
  14. Artificial Intelligence: Positives and Negatives in the Mathematics Classroom
  15. AI to Support Literacy
  16. Using the AI Bill of Rights to Guide Education’s use of AI and the European Commission’s “Ethical Guidelines for Teaching and Learning” to Guide the Future of AI in Education Part 1 of 2
  17. Using the AI Bill of Rights to Guide Education’s use of AI and the European Commission’s “Ethical Guidelines for Teaching and Learning” to Guide the Future of AI in Education Part 2 of 2
  18. Three Free & Easy Tools to Support Tiered Reading in Your Classroom
  19. The Question of Equity in the Age of ChatGPT
  20. CIDDList: 5 AIs You Need to Check Out This Summer!
  21. Mixed Reality Simulations, Personalized Learning, AI, and the Future of Education with Dr. Chris Dede
  22. Foundations for AI and the Future of Teaching and Learning from the US Department of Educational Technology
  23. Apple Enters the AR/VR/MR/XR Scene
  24. ChatGPT, AIs, and the IEP?
  25. There’s An AI for That: A Site Dedicated to Curating AIs
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  27. Embracing the Future: How Teachers Can Harness AI at the Beginning of the School Year
  28. Empowering Special Education Faculty: Navigating the AI Landscape in Higher Education for 2023-2024.
  29. CIDDList: Back-to-School Checklist for Technology in Teacher Preparation Courses
  30. Cracking the Code: Students with Disabilities in the Computer Sciences 
  31. UNESCO Discusses Artificial Intelligence
  32. AI-integrated Apps for Those with Visual Impairments: Camera-Based Identifiers and Readers
  33. Publishers Respond to Generative AI
  34. K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist
  35. CIDDL Talks How AI Will Change Special Education at TED
  36. Re-designing and Aligning an Intro to Special Education Class to the UDL Framework through Technology Integration: Minimizing Threats and Distractions
  37. Resources for Learning About AI Going Into 2024
  38. Artificial Intelligence in Education 2023: A Year in Review
  39. Revolutionizing Mathematics Education in K-12 with AI: The Role of ChatGPT
  40. Image Generating AI and Implications for Teacher Preparation
  41. Are We There Yet? AI for Statistical Analysis
  42. Answers to Your AI Questions: A Conversation with Yacine Tazi
  43. Emerging Trends in Special Education Technology: A Doctoral Scholar Symposium
  44. 2024: A Space Odyssey? How AI and Technology of the Present Compares to HAL9000 and the Predictions of 2001: A Space Odyssey
  45. Using ChatGPT for Writing Lesson Plans
  46. Updates in the World of AI
Astronaut in space

2024: A Space Odyssey? How AI and Technology of the Present Compares to HAL9000 and the Predictions of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Authors: Samantha Goldman; info@ciddl.org

You may consider adding it to your watch list if you have never seen the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey or have only seen it once or twice. It takes multiple viewings to fully understand and comprehend both the cinematic beauty and overall storyline. As someone born way after it came out, has seen it in theaters more than four times, and has an affinity for all things technology, this movie is eye-opening and remarkable. Before we proceed, it is important to note that 2001: A Space Odyssey is also a book. I haven’t read it, so I can’t make connections to the present. Thus, this blog will focus solely on the movie. 

A Quick Summary (of a Two and a Half Hour Movie with an Intermission)

2001: A Space Odyssey was originally released in 1968, prior to us going to the moon. It details the evolution of man and the impact of the black monolith. Without giving away too much, the film is segmented into four pieces: the evolution of man, where apes first become tool users, the journey to the international space station to discuss an incident on the moon (the black monolith being unearthed), the trip to Jupiter (this is where we encounter HAL), and the ending segment which I am not sure how to summarize. We will focus on the middle segments for this blog and CIDDL’s mission.

Correlations Between Predicted Technologies and the Technologies of Today

It’s remarkable how 2001 predicted what technologies we would have and how we interact with them. At several points during the movie, characters are observed making video calls and/or receiving video messages, much like modern-day Zoom or Facetime. Whereas we carry our phones in our pockets, characters in the film either visit terminals similar to payphones to access these large stationary devices (and need to pay a fee for using them) or they are mounted screens within the spacecraft (similar to how landlines were mounted to the walls). At one point, one of the main characters, Dr. Floyd, makes a call from the space station to Earth and talks to his young daughter. While she can manipulate the video call and seems unphased by it, the authors underscore an important point we often make within CIDDL. Even though these technologies may seem second nature to us and our students, we still need to teach them how to use them to support academics and life. Dr. Floyd calls to speak to his wife, who is not home, and, instead, has a conversation with his daughter, who is about six. He is trying to ensure that she tells her mom he called, and, just like most six-year-olds, she seems uninterested. The film does not explore technologies that could support reminders. Popular technologies in classrooms today include (1) having Alexa set a reminder, (2) using speech-to-text to write a reminder, or (3) emailing and texting the unreachable person. 

A post in 2001 would only be complete with an in-depth look at HAL9000, the artificial intelligence that controls the spaceship. You may know the quote, “Open the pod bay door, HAL.” If you aren’t, ask your favorite AI assistant (Alexa, Siri, etc.) to “open the pod bay door.” The responses are quite entertaining. HAL is designed to be infallible. According to his program design, he is all-knowing and does not make mistakes. This is beyond our correct conception of AI because ChatGPT has a disclaimer saying it can make things up. This has become known as “hallucination”

While I cannot ask HAL how he compares to ChatGPT, I asked ChatGPT how he compares to HAL. Here’s the response:

I am a text-based AI language model developed by OpenAI, known as ChatGPT. While HAL 9000 is a fictional artificial intelligence from Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey," there are some key differences between us:

  • Fiction vs. Reality: HAL 9000 is a fictional character from a science fiction novel and movie, whereas I am a real-world AI developed for various practical applications.
  • Purpose: HAL 9000 was designed to control and manage the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft, including making critical decisions. My purpose is to assist users in answering questions, providing information, and engaging in text-based conversations.
  • Voice Interaction: HAL 9000 communicates using a synthesized voice and can understand and respond to voice commands. I, on the other hand, interact solely through text-based responses.
  • Sentience: HAL 9000 is portrayed as having human-like consciousness and emotions in the story, leading to ethical dilemmas. I am not sentient, and I do not possess consciousness or emotions.
  • Context: HAL 9000's context is limited to the events of the story, while I have access to a wide range of general knowledge up until my knowledge cutoff date in January 2022.

In summary, while both HAL 9000 and I are artificial intelligences, we serve different purposes, exist in different contexts, and have different capabilities. HAL 9000 is a fictional character, whereas I am a tool designed to assist with information and text-based communication.

Join the Conversation

It’s exciting to think of all the innovation in a movie created a half-century ago and align it with our current technology. Have you seen the film? What correlations between the movie and now do you find most fascinating? Share your thoughts in our community!