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An advanced device capable of performing a variety of tasks and interacting with its human users (companions?).
The HAL9000 communicates by voice and can control a auxiliary devices on a spaceship.
It (he?) has an unfortunate tendency towards obsessing over minor details or inconsistencies in the instructions given it, however.
In the events described in Arthur C. Clarke's “2001: A Space Odyssey,” HAL's tendency toward obsessive literalism led to the unfortunate death of most of its spaceship's human crew
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