Two elements of non-human intelligence form the central focus of the film 2001: A Space OdysseyThe Dawn of Man 

  1. . First, there is the intelligence represented by the big black slab (usually referred to by students of the film as a monolith) that trained the man apes in the film's opening sequence; the later discovery of which on the moon leads to the launch of the spaceship to Jupiter to seek the monolith's makers. Second, there is HAL 9000, an intelligent being created by humans. Not only can he can essentially control a space shuttle flight, but also he can converse with a human, almost as if he were one himself.

What do these two non-human forms of intelligence tell us about the nature of human intelligence and consciousness? How do they help the film to comment upon both the potential and the limitations of human intelligence and understanding?

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