How your phone will become HAL 9000

A few years ago, the Pentagon launched a program to create a fully functional HAL 9000 -- the intelligent software robot depicted in the 1968 sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.

If you'll recall, the movie HAL carried on conversations in natural language, monitored the spaceship and communications from Earth and notified the crew about important events just at the right time. HAL could also make decisions, prioritize and learn.

The Pentagon's project was called CALO, for Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. The five-year program enlisted more than 300 researchers from at least two-dozen universities. This massive effort was organized by a brilliant guy named Adam Cheyer, who served as the project's chief architect.

Guess what HAL's chief architect does now? Cheyer works at Apple as director of engineering for the iPhone. Apple "acquired" Cheyer when it bought the company he co-founded, Siri Inc.

And Cheyer is still building HAL. The only difference is that HAL will live in your iPhone.

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