It’s a true nerd dream come true. A company called Master Replicas Group is planning to release a fully operational–albeit way dumber–HAL 9000 computer, the all-powerful artificial intelligence villain from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The replica will celebrate the premiere of Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi film 50 years ago–and it will be powered by Amazon Alexa.
The computer, which is fully licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, uses a Fire HD tablet to do anything that Alexa can do. The Amazon tablet also serves as a side display that reproduces the faux computer interface graphics from the movie. In a teaser video from the company below, you can see how this version of the evil brain onboard the spaceship Discover interacts with users. You can address it as both HAL and Alexa, but with quite different results.
The replica is definitely not perfect, or even practical. If you throw it a line of dialog, it replies with the voice of Douglas Rain, the actor who dubbed HAL 9000 in the movie. But for the regular interactions, you’ll need to talk to Alexa, who, to be fair, has her own creepy issues. Still, that’s a major letdown for me (said the spoiled nerd who discovered that he can own HAL 9000 two minutes ago). I want the same bone-chilling voice to respond whether I’m asking for the space pod’s lock to be opened or ordering a bottle of Tide.
There’s no price or release date for the replica yet–we only know that the device is custom made and limited to 2001 units, so expect it to be expensive.