Are you ready to have your brain bent this morning? If so, then boy oh boy have you come to the right place.

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Spike Jonze’s HER both make use of an artificial intelligence operating system as a major character. In the former film, you have HAL, who over the course of his digital evolution becomes controlling to the point of murderous, and in the latter you have Samantha, who over the course of her evolution learns to love. Neither is required to have a body, distinguishing them from robots, androids, clones, or other engineered forms, which enables them to be everywhere at once, a presence over your shoulder you can never notice unless they let you, and both are able to grow and expand their knowledge and experiences based on direct, personal interaction with humans.

But what if they had interacted with each other? What if these two got together and conversed about their experiences with and among humans? Can you even wrap your mind around what that might sound like? Well, no need to now, because editor Tillmann Ohm has done it for you by taking direct quotes from both Hal and Samantha and weaving them into a hypothetical conversation that involves, as Ohm puts it in his written intro, “the relation between machines and emotion processing” and addresses “the enigmatic question of the authenticity of feelings.” It’s like the best episode of INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO ever, and it is guaranteed to remind you that a) the rise of the machines is real, and happening, and b) Scarlet Johansson really deserved an Oscar nom for HER.

Reflections of HAL and Samantha from Tillmann Ohm on Vimeo.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist