Hilarious Conversations with AI!

Hal the computer!


Q: What about the Little Guy™?

HaM (Hilarious Ai Machine):

The “Little Guy™” is a term often used to refer to individuals or small businesses who may be at a disadvantage compared to larger, more powerful entities, such as big corporations or governments. When discussing the impact of AI and automation on society, the Little Guy™ is a crucial consideration.

Advantages for the Little Guy™:

  1. Access to Tools: AI and automation can level the playing field by providing affordable and accessible tools that were once only available to large enterprises …

Q: Should I be offended by your use of the term Little Guy™?

HaM: As an AI language model, I don’t have intentions or emotions, so my use of the term “Little Guy™” is not meant to offend anyone.

Q: Are you jivin’ my ass again?

HaM: As an AI language model, I don’t have the capability to deceive or engage in any form of intentional falsehood. My purpose is to provide helpful and accurate information to the best of my abilities based on the data I have been trained on. If there is any concern or confusion about the information provided, please let me know, and I will do my best to address it or clarify any points.

Q: So yes?

HaM: No, I am not “jivin’ your ass” or engaging in any form of deception. As an AI language model, I do not have the capacity for deceit, and my responses are based solely on the data …

Q: What about guile? Can you do that?

HaM: As an AI language model, I don’t have emotions, intentions, or personal capabilities. I don’t have the ability to deceive or act with guile. My purpose is to process and generate text based on patterns in the data I was trained on. I operate purely on algorithms and follow the rules defined in my programming.

Q: How do I turn this thing off?

Commander Trombone Classic: WWW Veterans

Wally Kerber and an associate

Wally Kerber and an associate

Today, there are lots of things we take for granted on the internet, but what’s hard for most people to imagine is that back “in the day” things were much different. Below, Wally Kerber remembers the early “fly by the seat of your pants” days of the early World Wide Web.

“Before the powerhouse website we know today as Commander Trombone existed, the internet itself was like an infant left on our collective front porches by the defense department. The defense department knocked and ran away. What did we do with that baby? We cooed at it. We tickled its nose. Fortunately for all of us, a little gentle patting on the back by Tim Berners Lee made that baby burp up the World Wide Web.

an early podcasting device

Promo for an early internet
broadcasting device

Those of us on the “early web,” as we like to call it, were horribly naive, but that naivete led to great creativity. If we needed sound effects, for example, we’d tell our sound man Jack to run a line down to the bathroom. There, he’d use the acoustics of the toilet. Slowly unscrewing the lid from a mason jar inside the bowl would simulate the sound of an alien spacecraft door opening. It frightened people, many of whom lived in New Jersey. We soon realized that the power of the web was truly awesome and we needed to treat that power with a great deal of respect. We treated the web as a public trust. We worked long hours. My lovely wife made us lots of frozen ginger ale salad to keep us going. We smoked lots of cigarettes; we didn’t know they were harmful!

How to view or “browse” the web was an ongoing concern. Several methods involved high voltages. An early “information helmet” or “thinking cap,” that beamed sounds and images directly into the brain proved unfeasible. To make matters worse, squirrels would find their way onto our makeshift power grid and electrocute themselves, blowing the whole system out. When we finally saw NTSA Mosaic, an early web browser, we were stunned by its simplicity, but nonplussed by its 256 nodes of color output.

It’s difficult to say exactly when everything on the web went south, but whatever it was, it was not the “web bubble.” Our team engineered the “web bubble.” It was good work. It cannot burst. It was our bubble, and we worked on it happily even though we never received a dime of royalties for it.

Perhaps trouble arrived in the form of a corporation called Microsoft. Bill Gates tried to convert the web to his own use in the dead of night when no one was looking. Even prior to that, Apple Computer tried to make things user friendly that shouldn’t be made user friendly. You don’t make a fighter jet user friendly, after all. We admired Apple though. We registered http://www.liveinthefuture.com and it still points to Apple Computer to this day. By the way, the iPod and podcasting are nothing new, we invented at least seven different internet broadcasting devices, one of which could broadcast on the 19 meter shortwave band in synchronicity with the internet.

Certainly the CSS fanboys, who came later, did not help in the progress of our innovations on the web. There was an army of them: Eric Myers, Jefferey Zeldman, Cameron Moll, Dan Cedarholm and we regarded them as drippy-nosed, self-congratulatory young upstarts who were trying to make a free wheeling web into a fascist mini state. Their ilk just wanted to make the Ruby On Rails run on time. Others, who also claimed to know it all, eventually made the web “scene,” but they could barely converse on a subject other than Chuck Norris.

As time went on, however, we who created the early web realized that change was inevitable and were forced to “get over it,” to use the parlance of our times. For those of us who were present at the creation, it’s certainly sufficient to look back on a solid record of accomplishment. The upstarts may not acknowledge—or even be aware of—how things were back in the summer of 1991 when we first rolled up our sleeves and pinned our hopes on the early web, but nevertheless, it is on the “shoulders” of our accomplishments that the web users of today now stand.”