Thursday, February 29, 2024

A Willy Wonka-Themed Event Turned Out to be a Sham and the Internet Can't Look Away

Advertisment versus reality.

A Willy Wonka-themed event that was careful to emphasize it was not officially related to well-known properties in any way turned out to be an utter joke of an, "Experience." AI ads made it look like people would walk into a surreal wonderland full of candy. Instead, they were in a mostly empty warehouse with some cheap decorations and actors/actresses who made it clear they had zero interest in being there. The man who played the Willy Wonka-alike himself discussed the gig made him cry in his car. It's being compared to such catastrophes as Fyre Fest, Dashcon, and so forth. Everybody loves gawking at a big public mess, and this is one for sure. People in Glasgow paid something like 35 pounds/$45 to be utterly disappointed. Instead of wonderment and chocolate, everyone got a run-down warehouse and glasses of lemonade along with a single (just one!) jellybean. Children were left in tears and the police were called as words like, "Fraud," were angrily thrown around.

Less magical and more meth-alike.

If there is one major thing to learn from this it would be that, yet again, AI has been used to mislead people. Whether it is a deepfake of a celebrity, altered voices over phones to scam friends, or making it look like your event is going to be a lot more magical than a run-down warehouse, AI is advancing at a rate much faster than people seem ready for. It wasn't used responsibly here and I am pretty sure that trend is going to continue as long as unscrupulous people can make a buck.

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