HAL 9000, the sentiment onboard computer of Discovery One, is designed to mimic human intelligence in a number of ways. HAL is capable of speech and can use inflection to sound more human-like than most computer-generated voices. Beyond simply maintaining the functions of the ship, one of HAL's purposes is maintaining a cordial connection with the crew. HAL is versed in human interests like art appreciation and has other skills like small talk and chit-chat. He even plays chess with Frank Poole and David Bowman. Although HAL can easily win every game, he is programmed to let the humans win from time to time, something they know but choose to ignore. Another human quality that HAL possesses is a yearning to survive. When HAL discovers that Bowman and Poole are planning to disconnect him, he fights hard in the name of self-preservation.
HAL's malfunction is the result of conflicts in his programming. This stem's from the two missions for the computer. HAL's primary mission is to maintain the functions of the ship and communicate with the human crew. However, HAL has a secret mission that he has been programmed to hide from the crew. This creates a paradox. How can HAL communicate with the crew and keep a secret? HAL's computer logic leads him to conclude that if the crew is dead, then he can continue his mission without being dishonest with them.