There’s a simple explanation why HAL 9000 sings “Daisy” as its intelligence is draining away.
Arthur C. Clarke was visiting his friend John Pierce at Bell Labs Murray Hill in the Sixties and saw a demonstration of an IBM mainframe running a voice recorder synthesizer (vocoder) that recreated the song “Daisy Bell.” Clarke included the idea in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Here is a video of a similar demonstration [YouTube file].
[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]
I remember seeing something like this on TV – and I remembered seeing it when I first saw 2001, which made the death scene (or maybe lobotomy scene would be more apt) especially moving for me.