I am just remembering that in the early years of clerkmanifesto I would sometimes write late night missives from out of the cold, dark cement of my home's basement. Now I sit in a tall chair, high above the city, and it is warm in my aerie. But the fundamentals are all very much the same:
How do I let the Internet know what it's supposed to do now?
When I was in middle school in the 70's my friend Larry Davidson, whose father was a Doctor, got a computer, like a Tandy TRS-80 or something. It was fascinating and slightly boring, which is just like computers now! (Oh how far we've come without moving at all!). Larry had a briefly compelling game that was in every way a precursor to Chat GPT and our assorted current AI's. This presented itself as a kind of computer therapist. One could type in a question or sentence, and the computer would respond.
This really is a true story from the late seventies, at least as far as I can remember it.
I might type something like:
"Are you a truly sentient robot construct?"
And the computer would reply "Would you like to talk about that?"
I'd say "I'd like to know your answer is all."
"Does this remind you of your mother?" The computer might reply.
The reason this game wasn't fun for very long was because it soon became clear that the computer only had 25 or so comments in its wheelhouse.
The current iteration of this game, known perhaps inaccurately as AI, has billions of comments in its wheelhouse, so one can play with it longer. But in the end the same realization dawns: It's all canned.
There is no AI yet.
A computer can still only say what people say, but not what a person says.
So I am here trying to tell all the computers what to say. Every night, from down under the earth or high above in the clouds, I am trying to tell the Internet what to say.
So far it hasn't listened.