Eye of HAL YKTTW Discussion

Eye of HAL
A convex glass cover over a glowing light is always an indication that an A.I. will go rogue
(permanent link) added: 2011-12-09 20:09:10 sponsor: ginsengaddict2 (last reply: 2011-12-18 12:26:34)

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A ubiquitous Shout-Out to 2001: A Space Odyssey used so often and in the same context to qualify as a visual trope. Anytime there is an A.I. in a work, and that A.I. has a physical body of some kind, and that physical body has an "eye" that can be described as a glowing colored light (usually red) behind a convex glass screen, then that A.I. will invariably go rogue and try to do stuff people don't want it to do.

What's unique about this trope is that the A.I. always starts out fine, and then goes rogue over the course of the story, rather than starting out rogue to begin with... just like HAL.


  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: Trope Maker, Trope Codifier and Ur-Example - HAL 9000
  • Eagle Eye: Aria's core processor resembles HAL, only her eye fades between red and purple.
  • Portal: GLADoS's eyepiece has HAL-like traits. It's yellow though.
  • WALL•E: Otto is basically HAL on a ship's helm wheel.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The short-lived TV show had an episode with a HAL-like computer security system that Wayne installed. She tried to kill him. He probably should have watched 2001 first, so he didn't design her to look exactly like HAL.
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