When Supercomputers Go Bad

Hal-9000I was watching the movie Eagle Eye last night. I will spare you my thumbs down review of this overly ambitious and unrealistic movie. What I did find interesting was the use of the computer as the main villain.  For those of you that were not subjected to watching this, the military had developed this top-secret supercomputer called “Autonomous Reconnaissance Intelligence Integration Analyst” or Ariia – tasked with gathering intelligence from all over the world. Ariia decides to wipe out the U.S. Government because it feels that it has failed the American people.

Here are some of my favorite megalomaniac computers from movie history.

1. WOPR (pronounced “Whopper”) from the movie WarGames. WOPR was an acronym for “War Operation Plan Response”. “Shall we play a game?” We put missiles under the control of a computer? I guess these guys never heard of Windows Vista.

2. Skynet from The Terminator franchise. Computers begin thinking that humans need to be wiped out. Artificial intelligent evolving to a point where it no longer needs humans and destroys humanity. Will that day ever come?

3. The Matrix from The Matrix franchise. A reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population while their bodies’ heat and electrical activity is used as an energy source. Talk about “going green”.

4. MCP from the movie Tron. When programs revolt. Who is keeping an eye on the developers? Somebody…

5. HAL 9000 from Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL was the acronym for  “Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer”. The coolest of all supercomputers. I wish I had one. However, my iMac comes pretty close. 😉

What is your favorite supercomputer villain? Let me know…


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