After Hours

Gallery: Famous Intelligent Computers from Television and Film

Famous Intelligent Computers from Television and Film

With IBM's "Watson" taking the stage this week to compete against the two greatest Jeopardy! champions in history this week, I thought I would take you through a look back at the iconic fictional computers from film and television that helped define the human vision of Artificial Intelligence.

First up -- the "forgotten" cast member of Star Trek.

20 comments
jozanne
jozanne

A computer with a consiecous and the desire to procrate should make the top ten list.

tech_ed
tech_ed

What about the computer in the movie Idocrasy?

Realvdude
Realvdude

Love the mention of GERTY, from Moon. I just saw this movie within the last year. Forgot about Edgar; what a soundtrack vehicle the movie was. Big ones missing are R2D2 and C3PO Sonny and VIKI from iRobot Sally from Runaway (Tom Selleck & Gene Simmons) Lisa from Weird Science The killer robot from Saturn 3, IMDB has this listed as Saturn City. It just came to me that the author may have been thinking within the confines of computers with or without a means to physcially interact with it's environment. That narrows the field significantly. From my list, just VIKI would meet the criteria.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Romulus Prime? Dexter Reilly from The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes Max from Flight of the Navigator

iheatseekeri
iheatseekeri

Minor nit pick here - mankind didn't make Deep Thought. Deep Thought was made by a race of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional beings. Of course once it found the answer, an even more powerful computer needed to be created to find the question. That computer was designed by Deep Thought and built by the Magratheans and had organic life form part of the intricate matrix for the 10 million year program needed to find the question. Unfortunately, Deep Thought didn't take into account the requirements for the placement of future space byways. Since I'm thinking Hitchhikers, Marvin and Eddie the Shipboard computer would make great additions to this list. (along with non Hitchhiker related B.O.B. and V.I.N.Cent from Black Hole, and the droids from Silent Running)

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

Regarding the entry on the MCP, technically, ENCOM was not evil--just Edward Dillinger, played by David Warner, who also voiced the MCP and played its major domo, Sark. For the entry on Deep Thought, it was "Life, the Universe and Everything," not "Live..." Also, you might mention that Deep Thought in the BBC edition of [i]The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[/i] was voiced by Valentine Dyall, known to [i]Doctor Who[/i] fans as the Black Guardian, personification of all evil throughout reality. The entry on Holly mistakes Rimmer for a navigator. While the navigator's hologram appeared in the first episode, Holly replaced him with Rimmer as Lister woke up from his three million year (not two million) slumber in stasis. Rimmer, is in fact a Second Technician--and Lister, as a Third Technician, is the only person on the ship's crew Rimmer outranks. You could mention, though, that Holly is one of the few computers ever portrayed at various times by a man and a woman (Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge, respectively). Zoe is played by Alessandra Torresani.

ToEveret
ToEveret

WOPR from War Games? Terminators?

eryk81
eryk81

Why the hologram from Voyager? It should be Data from Next Generation.

aeiyor
aeiyor

Good Day All. There's a few other contender with regards to this.. Edgar from Electric Dreams Vickie from i-Robot D.A.R.Y.L. David from A.I. SID from Virtuousity Robbie the Robot - Forbidden Planet The Robot from Lost in Space Klaatu from The Day The Earth Stood Still Ash - Android in Alien Bishop - Android in Aliens Call - Aliens Resurrection Wall-E I am sure there are MANY others but cannot remember them all. Sincerely, Satori.

Billb114
Billb114

I'm very surprised you didn't include Crow T Robot, Tom Servo, Gypsy and Cambot, the lovable robots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 in your list! What they lacked in sophistication they made up for in humor!

sboverie
sboverie

You forgot to put in the female head used for Holly for 2 or 3 seasons. The female head came from an episode where the crew find themselves in an alternate universe where females are dominate and males get pregnant.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000 moderator

Dr Who Computers that started very early in the series. WOTAN and the BOSS spring to mind as the nasty ones from very early on and then there is K9 the friendliest computer you could ever run across. ORAC on the other hand was just too busy to deal with the Humans in the Blake's 7 Crew. ;) Col

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

You're absolutely right. This is all information that should have made the list.

P.F. Bruns
P.F. Bruns

Data got a brief mention in the entry for the EMH. To be fair, the EMH grew a lot considering where he started in [i]Star Trek: Voyager[/i]--not that Data didn't during [i]Star Trek: The Next Generation[/i], but... Well, frankly, this list should have been longer. :)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

One correction: In The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu was the alien astronaut. The robot's name was Gort.

RoyC-Qld
RoyC-Qld

Hilly was her name. And what about Queeg?

RoyC-Qld
RoyC-Qld

The AI for The Dominator, Zen?

TORDFC_Jo
TORDFC_Jo

Holly was one character played by both Norman Lovett and Hattie Hayridge over the course of the programme. Hilly (also played by Hattie Hayridge) was a character in one episode (S02E12: Parallel Universe) and technically Queeg doesn't exist as it was Holly pulling a prank on the crew. Gordon was another computer in Red Dwarf, Holly was playing postal chess with him, though not sure I'd say he was intelligent!