#38 The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
“And so the Universe ended.” (p.146)
I want to go there. no kidding, I want to go to the resteurant at the end of the Universe. That would be the coolest thing in the universe ever. Of all time.
This book is the second on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (or as my sister and I like to say, “di-trilogy”). My favorite part is when Martin is creating a diversion for the Frogstar Scout robot class D so that Zaphod could get away (Chapter 7 - just found it). Martin has the Frogstar robot guess what kind of weapon Zaphod left him to arm himself with. He guesses weapons and Martian actually is interested in some of these weapons. The Frogstar even shows off some of his weapons like, “ One of these?” and eventually Martin admits that he has nothing. I felt so bad for him!!!! I absolutely love Marvin. Such an adorably depressing robot.
I hate Zaphod though. He’s got such a big ego, but that can be understood, what with him having two heads and all. ;)
“Just think,” urged Marvin, “they left me, an ordinary, menial robot, to stop you, a gigantic heavy-duty battle machine, whilst they ran off to save themselves. What do you think they would leave me with?”
“Oooh, er,” muttered the machine in alarm, “something pretty damn devastating I should expect.”
“Expect!” said Marvin, “oh yes, expect. I’ll tell you what they gave me to protect myself with shall I?”
“Yes, alright,” said the battle machine, bracing itself.
“Nothing,” said Marvin.
There was a dangerous pause.
“Nothing?” roared the battle machine.
“Nothing at all,” intoned Marvin dismally, “not an electronic sausage.”
The machine heaved about with fury.
“Well, doesn’t that just take the biscuit!” it roared, “Nothing, eh? Just don’t think, do they?”
“And me,” said Marvin in a soft low voice, “with this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left side.”
“Makes you spit, doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” agreed Marvin with feeling.
“Hell that makes me angry,” bellowed the machine, “think I’ll smash that wall down!”
The electron ram stabbed out another searing blaze of light and took out the wall next to the machine.
“How do you think I feel?” said Marvin bitterly.
“Just ran off and left you, did they?” the machine thundered.
Summary: The birth of an artificial intelligence requires a lot of caffeine, late nights, persistence, and a duck. Dirk works hard to bring Hal into existence for a school project, but the little program is destined to become so much more. (Rated Teen, Hal is in Bold Italics)
“For this assignment I would recommend BotLang or STRIPS but feel free to branch out if you find something a little more suitable. The objective is to create something that resembles an artificial intelligence. We are not asking you to actually program an artificial intelligence because that would be way beyond your capabilities. Does anyone know of any examples of simulated artificial intelligence?”
“GlaDOS! No, Wheatley!”
“AM? None of you will probably get that reference.”
“Marvin? He was a sucky robot, does that count?”
Dirk shook his head. Glad to know they were all nerds in the class. “Cleverbot,” he answers confidently.