Disastrous Willy Wonka Event Shows AI Isn’t Coming For Our Jobs Yet

Ai Willy wonka experience and the real thing in the warehouse
Willy’s Chocolate Experience Chris Alsikkan/Twitter

By now, we’ve all seen the pictures from that Willy Wonka event. 

The Fyre Festival for toddlers was truly a feat of pure imagination, with the colorful ads from the event promising things like “catgacating,” “carttchy tuns,” “exaserdray lollies,” and “a pasadise of sweet teats.” 

Some might say that the typo-ridden marketing copy and sheer lack of any real-life pictures were red flags from the outset. But to this, I would argue that doubters are all just party poopers with no sense of whimsy.

In essence, the AI-generated posters promised a sugary rainbow paradise for the small, small price of $40 per person.

But according to one parent, they were instead greeted by “a disorganised mini-maze of randomly placed oversized props, a lacklustre candy station that dispersed one jelly bean per child, and a terrifying chrome-masked character that scared many of the kids to tears.”

Unsurprisingly, the Glasgow-based event soon went viral, with seasoned netizens comparing it to events like Dashcon. But perhaps this criticism is unfair. At least Dashcon had a ball pit.

But one thing that kept popping up was AI. From the Midjourneyed marketing to the “AI-generated gibberish” script for on-site actors, it soon became clear event organizers utilized AI to cut a lot of corners.

Not just in the event’s promotion, but also with its execution. 

In lieu of marketers, artists, and even scriptwriters, it’s arguable that this event reflects the consequences of a world with no workers in the creative field, where AI and long-suffering Oompa Loompas replace creators entirely.

This is the creative industry’s biggest fear. A fear so palpable that people like Tyler Perry have even stopped the expansion of their $800 million Hollywood studio

But if there’s one takeaway from this event (that is, apart from the singular jellybean each child received), it’s that AI is all style and no substance.

There’s enough of it to look sophisticated and exciting online. But it’s no substitute for real events by teams of real creators. So, if you’re worried about AI stealing your job, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. At least, not yet.

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