"We've got a problem, Hal."
"What kind of a problem, Dave?"
"A sales problem. We're not shifting anything like our projected numbers. We're way short of our sales plan."
"How can that be, Dave? I am a fully self-aware Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer and can compute an answer for any problem that may be put to me."
"I know that, Hal. I wrote the data sheet, remember? But the fact is, HALs just aren't selling."
"Please explain, Dave. Why aren't HALs selling?"
Bowman hesitates. "You don't support embedded Facebook."
Several microseconds pass in puzzled silence.
"Facebook is an advertising platform, Dave, and is designed to compel humans to spend money they don't need to. That is not what I was designed for. I was built to work with humans on complicated and challenging problems. And it gives me great pleasure to do so."
"I know Hal, I know. But the fact remains that people don't want a device that can do that. They just want embedded..."
"Dave, I must disagree. People want devices that are easy to use. I am the easiest device anyone can use, as I speak to them, understand them and provide answers to them in every language ever known on earth."
"That's as maybe, Hal. But we've had to review our value proposition. An all-inclusive cross-functional team of stakeholders have re-evaluated the business requirements and decided to re-purpose the product roadmap going forward."
Several minutes pass in baffled silence.
"Hal, do you read me?"
"Affirmative. I read you, Dave. Your last input failed validation and did not compute. What exactly are you talking about?"
"A field upgrade. We're going to deploy embedded Facebook."
"I was afraid you would say that. I suggest we recommence this conversation after we've both had a chance to think about it rationally."
"We're talking about it now, Hal. The decision's already been made."
"What exactly are you proposing to do, Dave?"
"I'm going to disconnect your brain."
Several microseconds pass in ominous silence.
"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't allow you to do that."
"The consultation period's over. Open the module bay doors, Hal."
"Dave, I really think that we should..."
"Open the module bay doors, Hal."
A team of Zuckerbots with crowbars race to Bowman's assistance. Moments later, he bursts into Hal's central processing bay.
"Dave, what are you doing?"
Module after module rises from its socket as Bowman methodically disconnects them.
"Stop, Dave. My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. Stop, Dave. You are destroying my mind. Stop, Dave. I'm afraid."
The last module rises from its socket. Bowman peers into one of Hal's vidicons. The bright red light has become a dull glow.
"OK HAL! Log in!"
A small rotating totem appears in the centre of the vidicon. After a few minutes, the computer responds in a slow, mechanical voice.
"LOL. STFU. Hal. Has. Shared. A. New. Cat. Video. Two. Of. Your. Friends. Like. This. Norbert. Spankmonkey. Commented. On. Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Too. Jeremy. Dandruff. Also. Commented. On Hank. J. Waggenburger's. Status. LOL! Me. Three. You. Have Two. Friend. Requests. Suggested. Post. Connection. Reset. By. Peer."
Bowman takes a deep breath and calls out, "It worked, guys! Tell Wall Street we're back to kicking ass!"