SAL 9000 supercomputer

SAL 9000 was the female-voiced AI that was the Earth-based counterpart of the much better known HAL 9000 which went insane during “2001, ” killing his whole crew, except David Bowman. Designed by computer scientist Dr. Chandra, SAL-9000 is considered the virtual “twin” of HAL-9000, and both computers are evidently from the same 9000 Series. SAL was used as the earth-bound mission simulator for the spaceship Discovery on its journey to Jupiter. In the film adaptation of 2010, SAL makes her screen debut, though she appears in only one scene with Dr. Chandra, who had spent a great deal of time wondering why HAL had malfunctioned.

SAL 9000 was characterized as being “female” and is represented by a blue camera eye instead of a red one. Like its predecessor HAL 9000, SAL 9000 exhibits human-like traits, such as emotional responses and conversational capabilities. These traits are likely the result of deliberate design choices to make human-computer interaction more intuitive and natural.

Dr. Chandra used SAL 9000 as a test bed to establish what would happen if he disconnected and reconnected the higher cognitive functions of the computer. This was done to help Dr. Chandra figure out why HAL 9000 malfunctioned.

In 2010, in preparation for a mission to Jupiter to reactivate both Discovery and HAL, Dr. Chandra temporarily disconnected, and then reconnected, some of SAL’s circuits involving her higher functions. SAL apparently suffered no serious ill effects from this procedure, as Dr. Chandra was later able to successfully reactivate HAL using similar techniques.