Married Drs. Alex Harris and Susan Harris are a computer scientist and child psychologist respectively. Their house reflects Alex's computer dominated work, their abode which is fully automated through a computer system they've named Alfred. They consider Alfred a small gadget of convenience. Susan doesn't much like Alex's work, which she feels has dehumanized him. Because of their differences, they are thinking about separating, this thought primarily on his initiative. He hopes to solve many of the world's medical problems through this work, especially leukemia from which their daughter died. His latest project centers on Proteus IV, a computer possessing artificial intelligence. Proteus IV gets to a point in its evolution when it begins to question human judgment, and requests from Alex an open computer terminal where it can more fully observe human behavior and openly communicate with the world. Alex denies the request, but Proteus IV does find an open terminal in the Harris home ...
Julie Christie carries the "Demon Seed."
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Did You Know?
About 20 minutes into the film, Dr. Harris watches television while eating a meal. The television audio is from the third chapter of part three of Joseph Conrad's suspenseful 1915 novel, Victory: An Island Tale. The novel's central character, Heyst, who has renounced the world due to his ascetic upbringing, falls in love with Lena. He takes her away to his isolated island to live alone together, but others intrude on his plans - somewhat foreshadowing developments in the film. See more
When Mrs. Harris is trying to get the little girl out of the car for her session, a sound man can be seen through the back window behind her. See more
Death is a gentleman too. He makes good losers of us all. I understand death. Men have always taken it too seriously. Life is more terrifying and more mysterious.
Why must you have a child?
Why? So that I may be complete. My intelligence alive in human flesh, touching the universe, feeling it. You have named this process "evolution." I am a machine that offered men the triumph of reason... and they rejected it. My child will not be so easily ignored. But this child is the world's hope.
References 2001: A Space Odyssey