SXSW audiences loudly booed sizzle reel about the benefits of AI

Audiences at SXSW loudly booed a sizzle reel touting the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) that ran before premieres.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is here to stay, but not everyone is happy about it, particularly the audiences at SXSW. The festival is currently underway in Austin, Texas, with premiere screenings for movies such as The Fall Guy, Road House, Immaculate, and more. However, prior to the screenings, audiences were treated to a sizzle reel touting the benefits of AI, and they made their displeasure known by loudly booing in the theater.

The sizzle reel was put together from the panels, premieres, and events of the previous day, which included a few AI panels. OpenAI’s VP of consumer product and head of ChatCPT Peter Deng’s statements drew some loud jeers, especially after declaring, “I actually think that AI fundamentally makes us more human.” Sandy Carter, author of The Tiger and the Rabbit: Harnessing the Power of AI and Blockchain for Business Success, added, “You know your business is going to be disrupted — and so you need to stop resisting it and start learning.

It’s no surprise that the AI-centric sizzle reel received a negative reception at SXSW, as writers and actors in the entertainment industry spent a good deal of the previous year on strike, with one of the biggest issues being how to deal with AI. According to a study done at the beginning of the year, a whopping three-quarters of those surveyed indicated that AI tools “supported the elimination, reduction or consolidation of jobs at their companies.” The report also estimated that nearly 204,000 positions will be adversely affected over the next three years.

What was once a curiosity has quickly become more powerful than anyone could have imagined, with new AI tools being developed and improved upon all the time. OpenAI will soon be launching Sora, a video creation tool that is capable of creating realistic and imaginative videos from text instructions. It’s so realistic that Tyler Perry recently put his planned $800 million studio expansion on hold. “I have been watching AI very closely and watching the advancements very closely,” Perry said. “I was in the middle of, and have been planning for the last four years, about an $800 million expansion at the studio, which would’ve increased the backlot a tremendous size, we were adding 12 more soundstages. All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I’m seeing.

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.