2001 Space Odyssey Analysis

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Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was a science fiction novel ahead of its time when it was first published. Humankind had not yet set foot on the moon, yet Clarke dreamed of reaching for the stars. This dream, however, was accompanied by some questions. 2001: A Space Odyssey offered its reader the chance to debate, among other things, the definitions of evolution and intelligence and also made them doubt their reliance on their trusted electronics. The first question that is posed in 2001: A Space Odyssey is that of creationism versus evolution, starting with the moment where the man apes first come into contact with the monolith. According to the narrator, when they approached it and set the process in motion, “[t]hey could never guess…show more content…
Because the humans in the novel are not entirely aware of the truth regarding their origins, they deem themselves to be in possession of ‘true’ intelligence, whereas anything created by them is ‘artificial’ or ‘lesser’. While it is clear that their origins are biological, it is also true that their intelligence was the result of a non-biological process, one of genetic engineering. Therefore, humanity can be considered a form of artificial intelligence with the ability to build less functioning artificial intelligence. HAL 9000 is the outcome of this, a human product with an artificial mind. Also, while the humans understand that they were the ones to have created him, it is mentioned that “[t]hey [...] knew, of course, that Hal was hearing every word, but they could not help these polite circumlocutions. Hal was their colleague, and they did not wish to embarrass him” (Clarke 18). Here, it is clear that Hal is not deemed a mere machine, but a peer. The problem lies herein that Hal was created by imperfect creatures, humans, and therefore is not a perfect example of true artificial intelligence. He was programmed to abide to a set of rules that had come from a human mind, which caused them to be inherently flawed. That is why Hal turned what humans would call ‘evil’; the clashing instructions of which…show more content…
By making its readers wonder about the line between evolution and creationism, intelligence and artificial intelligence and positive and negative advancements, the novel allowed them to come up with new ideas and at the same time make up their own mind regarding these important issues, even when the novel seeks to steer them in the right

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