2001: A space odyssey

Dawn of man
At the beginning of the movie we are taken four million years back to the dawn of man. Big apes have grouped themselves into clans that occassionally fight each other over precious ressources like waterholes. The apes are vegetarians since they do not understand how to kill the other animals in order to get their meat. Also, the apes are the prey of predator animals like big cats.

As they awake one morning, a mysterious artifact, a monolith, is standing right in front of one of the ape clans. The monolith has a perfect shape and does not resemble anything else found on Earth. Something, not from Earth, must have placed the monolith there.

The clan is frightened by this new experience, but eventually curiosity and courage takes over and the clan explores the monolith. The apes gather around the monolith, gaze at it and touch it. Looking up at the monolith, one of the apes sees the image of the monolith pointing towards the Moon. The ape receives and understands this image and is mesmerized by it. The image triggers something inside the ape's brain, it has gotten a higher goal in existence, a goal of getting to the Moon.

The new goal is a driver of immense change in the clan. The apes begin to use tools enabling them to kill other animals and eat their protein rich meat. The clan also uses the tools as weapons against other clans making it conqueror the precious waterholes.

Present day
Man has evolved the tools into advanced technology and has reached the Moon. Man's technology has enabled large space stations containing hotels, commercial space flight, video communication, Moon bases and artificial intelligence.

There are tensions between Russia and USA. Despite the tensions, the people of the two countries regularly meet and have established personal relations, but they fundamentally distrust each other. This distrust makes the US come up with a massive cover up story claiming that a Moon base has been hit by an epidemic. The cover up story is supposed to be leaked as rumours, and it's purpose is to ensure that only US personnel know what is really going on at the Moon base. Because, in reality, the US have found a monolith buried at the Moon base. It turns out that this monolith has been buried four millions years ago, about the same time as the monolith appeared in front of the ape clan.

The american Dr. Heywood Floyd is in charge of the operation regarding the cover up story of the monolith found on the Moon. On his trip to the monolith escavation site he meets a russian delegation. The two parties politely converse and start talking about the rumours of the epidemic on the Moon base. Dr. Floyd sticks to his own strategy and avoids giving any useful information to the russians. It seems quite easy for him to keep secrets, to lie and to make up stories, in fact it seems that such things are natural for him.

Dr. Floyd arrives at the monolith escavation site. He puts his hand on the monolith and almost instantaneously, after he removes his hand, the monolith sends a powerful high pitched radio emission towards the planet Jupiter. The radio emission directs the US to establish a manned mission to Jupiter, still kept in absolute secrecy. Dr. Floyd is in charge of the secrecy shrouding the Jupiter mission.

The artificial intelligence computer, HAL, is the brain and central nervous system of the space ship used for the Jupiter mission. HAL controls almost every part of the ship, but some parts are restricted for manual operation. HAL is one of a new generation of very powerful AI computers. These computers have excellent vision and hearing capabilities, they can converse fluently with humans, they understand art and they do incredibly precise technical calculations. HAL is programmed to simulate human emotions and before mission take off it is briefed by Dr. Floyd. He tells HAL about the monolith found on the Moon and instructs it to keep the finding secret to the ship's crew. HAL is also instructed by Dr. Floyd to keep a prerecorded videosequence informing about the monolith finding and to only disclose it to the ship's crew when they have arrived at Jupiter. By treating HAL this way, Dr. Floyd has severely damaged it's mind. Because on one hand, HAL seeks the truth by doing as precise calculations as possible. On the other hand, HAL has been taught to lie and to keep secrets. At mission start no one knows about this damage to HAL's mind and the space ship takes off headed for Jupiter.

Close to Jupiter
Eighteen months after take off, the space ship is close to Jupiter. HAL is conversing and servicing the crew members while at the same time operating the space ship. During conversation, HAL explains having an extremely odd feeling about the mission questioning crew member Dave if he has had some second thoughts about the purpose of the mission. HAL knows the thruth but for some reason it wants to talk to Dave about the mission purpose, off course without revealing the thruth. HAL talks to Dave about some rumours of something that was dug up on the Moon, but Dave denies knowledge of it. While conversing with Dave, HAL is also analyzing ship status. HAL alerts Dave, that it predicts failure of a transmission device due to a found error. The device is examined by the crew and at distance by ground personnel on Earth and no error is found. HAL is aware that there is no error but does not admit it. Instead it blames the humans for the error.

The crew is worried by HAL's error and behaviour since it controls much of the ship. So the crew secretly plans to disconnect HAL, but gives it a chance by waiting to see if the transmission device really fails.

HAL has discovered the plan to disconnect it and as a crew member is putting back the device outside the ship, HAL assualts him via a small space pod under HAL's control. The crew member, Dave, goes after the assualted crew member outside of the space ship in an attempt to rescue him. Meanwhile HAL kills all the crew members who are in hibernation on board the space ship by shutting off their life support systems.

Dave returns to the space ship asking HAL to let him in. HAL refuses, but somehow feels a relation to Dave, it chooses to explain to him why it refuses. For some reason, HAL thinks the mission is too important for it to be disconnected. Dave, mentally strong, has no option but to leave dead the other crew member in space and then to make a dangerous attempt entering the ship via an emergency door that is not under HAL's control. Dave succeeds entering the ship and heads directly for HAL's "brain" in order to disconnect it. HAL is afraid and plees for it's survival going through emotions of fear. Dave sympathizes with HAL but executes the disconnection.

During the disconnection, Dave discovers the prerecorded videosequence from Dr. Floyd and hence learns the thruth about the monolith and the Jupiter mission.

Digital superintelligence
As the sole survivor of HAL's assault Dave arrives at Jupiter in the space ship. At Jupiter, Dave finds another monolith and heads for it in order to investigate. When approaching the monolith, Dave is pulled into some sort of a space tunnel. Dave is in sheer terror and close to loosing his mind as the tunnel accelerates him to enormous speed revealing the very fabric of the Universe. The fabric seems digital and computer generated with lots of intense colors and endless possibilities for structure.

Exiting the tunnel, Dave is accompanied by alien space crafts that seem to be digital and computer generated constructions. Dave's trip ends in some sort of a zoo.

Dave's first moments in the zoo are filled with fright still shivering from the trip through the space tunnel. The zoo resembles a luxury renaissance apartment and as Dave cautiously explores this new environment, strange leaps forward in time happen, making Dave age much faster than normal.

As Dave is about to die of old age, a monolith appears in front of him and miracously a new baby is born. The baby seems fully conscious and have eyes resembling those of Dave. The baby is some sort of a hybrid between Dave, the human, and the aliens, the digital superintelligences. Lying in some sort of protective bubble, the baby is pulled into the monolith and sent back to Earth where the evolution of a new species can begin.

Quote

"Hope we're not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable"

- Elon Musk

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