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Wonka Milk


Singing: Come with me, and we'll drink, what ever the milk of this weird situation is.



If you don't already know, there is a Wonka themed fiasco currently taking the internet by storm. In short; some sort-of-made-up-company (House Of Illuminati) hosted a Wally Winka themed immersive event that turned out to be some die-hard actors, finagling between some shoddy looking set, feeding scant sweet-beans, to the terrified children of disappointed parents. Charging £35 a pop for an event that was marketed with augmented, artificial and pretty shit looking promotionals, people showed up en masse, and it all came to a climax when the police were called.


In photographs later released by punters, actors and, amazingly, the company it's self, revealed the event to be an absolute mess. Just some enormous warehouse into which the company chucked bits of black cloth, wall hangings, and the remanence of what looked like an actually once impressive set. I know this because for the past few days I have joined the rest of the world in scrolling through the aftermath of this catastrophe filling myself to the brim with glee. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching as the internet once again churned real life into content, and whilst doing that, I had a thought that I think others, like me, will find comforting...


AI is the false prophet of right now.


Before all this Wonka stuff, I'd talked to a fair few artists about how destabilising the prospect of AI is. Some people get really up and/or out of their seats and/or arses to talk about it's presence, ethics, morality, viability and threat. There is a palpable and legitimate fear around it's usage, because there is no doubt; it is appropriating art and systematically reducing need within specific sectors. When you consider that right now is just the dawn of this tech, the idea of it's advancement becomes only more terrifying. So I can understand the concerns of artists, creatives and practitioners, whilst also understanding the needs, ease, accessibility and economy of the users.


The implications here are vast, and so far I've spotted AI's uncanny influence in modern art, music making, animation, voice over, product creation, live performance, scripting, Youtube Ads, map design, architecture, marketing, et all etc. It is everywhere... and it got everywhere quick. This blog-post-host is even asking me if I want some AI assistance. So in this moment of Wonka-madness, I wanted to give thanks for one little glimmering bit of illumination House of Illuminati gave us; AI is a false prophet.


Because the company that put this event on clearly invested everything into AI, they wrote the script, designed the posters and built the website using it. They harvested it, prayed to it and banked on it. They communicated using it, advertised using it, and relied on it for mostly all their content, design and ambition... and it all blew up their real-life-human-faces, and that's what's really comforting about it all. Because it only goes to highlight that without genuine skill, talent, training, wherewithal and ability, AI (at least for live event makers) is not yet a threat. It's only really a means with which to create the illusion of content and the illusion of an idea.


So what is there for us to milk out of this situation? Well, I hope we all take collective step forwards to revaluate our relationship with AI. I hope artists remember they're valuable, and that audiences realise it it too. This shocking wonky wank of an event should send up a really useful signal-flair up for audiences to ID and mistrust AI generated garbage when they see it, with the uncanny-valleyness of it becoming a useful deterrent. And finally, I hope it functions as a warning to other companies and enterprises; invest in artists, illustrators, writers, photographers and videographers, put the work in, build incredible experiences and share them with honesty and integrity.


I hope you had an encherining or catagating time reading this blog.


Mucho,


Justin Teddy Cliffe

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