I suppose my story isn’t unlike many of my generation.
I would’ve been about six years old. My Dad took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Back in those days (1968), growing up in Merton Park, UK, seeing a movie at a theatre was a big deal.
And of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t just any movie. It changed the game – for the industry and for me personally.
First off, I clearly owe a debt of gratitude to my Dad for taking me. For by this simple act, by today’s standards anyway, I experienced a compelling tour-de-force of a movie that would have a lifelong impact.
Back then, it was all about the sights and sounds – the sun rising and space stations spinning to music.
Such was my introduction to classical music and the big-screen genius of Stanley Kubrick.
In time, of course, I would appreciate much more. And although I never did realize my childhood fantasy of becoming an astronaut ;-), I suppose that the AI typified by sentient machines such as 2001‘s Hal has ultimately influenced my ongoing interests in knowledge representation.
What triggered this reverie?
Yesterday’s passing of Arthur C. Clarke.
Given the importance of such early impressions, and in addition to the gratitude I owe my Dad, I must also thank Clarke and Kubrick.
No doubt it’s time to dust off the book and DVD versions of 2001 and enjoy a little more nostalgia.
ACC is appreciated by significant Googlers Vint Cerf and Bill Coughran on their official blog. In addition to acknowledging ACC’s impact on many who are employed by Google, the appreciation includes a YouTube video of ACC on his 90th birthday.