AI prediction of Ramadan bazaars in the future

Singapore always comes through with her Ramadan bazaars and pasar malams, whether it’s the ones at Geylang Serai, Kampung Gelam, or scattered over the island.

Excitement fills the air whenever the fasting month rolls around, and the bazaars set up shop with delicious food, trinkets and snacks. But what would these markets look like in, say, a decade, or even a century?

We asked ChatGPT to describe what Ramadan bazaars in the future would be like in Singapore, and while we were at it, we asked DALL·E to generate images as well.

These were the prompts we gave DALL·E: 

  1. I’d like to generate an image of what a Ramadan bazaar in Singapore would look like in X years’ time. I’d like it to be realistic, in a 4:3 aspect ratio and have a detailed variety of stalls and customers.
  2. Could you please generate an image of what a Ramadan bazaar stall in Singapore will look like in 10 years? The aspect ratio should be 4:3 – a picture of a single stall with the owner, the food they’re selling, and maybe a customer, but not necessarily.
  3. I wanted to ask if you could generate an image of what a Ramly burger stall might look like in 10 years?

2034 (10 years from now)

Ramadan Bazaar - 10 years Ramadan BazaarImage credit: DALL·E

10 years is not too far away from where we’re at now, and that is reflected in the predictions that the AI tools came up with. The new bazaars would be digitised with digital? signs and AR menus, so people would be able to know exactly what they wanted to order.

There would also be an AI bot for smart crowd management, like the M.A.T.A.R. police robots, which could barricade an area before it became too crowded. Another solution to reduce crowds would be activating drone deliveries. This way, you could avoid the migraine-inducing queues, and not worry about losing your ticket.

Ramadan Bazaar - 10 years robot bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

The stalls would also be manned by robots – get yourself a new, colour-analysed carpet from an automaton seller or bergedil, freshly fried by a cyber-chef.

Speaking of bazaar grub, ChatGPT also predicts an uptick in the accessibility of lab-grown meats. Imagine munching on chicken satay or a beef Ramly burger, without any harm done to our furry friends and the planet. 

2074 (50 years from now)

Ramadan Bazaar - 50 years Ramadan bazaarImage credit: DALL·E

Germaphobes rejoice – AI predicts that we will have entered the era of flying vehicles by 2074. There’ll be no more elbow rubs with sweaty strangers, as you can just wait in your flying pod. You could even take it up a notch by attending the bazaar remotely, and getting your food delivered via VR drone, but where’s the fun in that?

Ramadan Bazaar - 50 years bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

So what would the munchies look like? Much like how GPT generates recipes, AI would be used to generate customised versions of bazaar-favourite dishes and beverages. You won’t have to be paiseh when you ask for less chilli in your mee goreng.

Ramadan Bazaar - 50 years robot bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

Sustainability and efficiency would be a developing focus at these 2074 bazaars. We’d see even more robot vendors and chefs. This could mean shorter queue times and longer opening hours – yay all around.

Ramadan Bazaar - 50 years burger machine
Image credit: DALL·E

Technology would have developed so much that there is zero wastage in food preparation, and waste management is a breeze by this point.

2124 (100 years from now)

Ramadan Bazaar - 100 years bazaarImage credit: DALL·E

Full speed ahead: we are now in 2124, a century ahead in time, and what do we have in store for Ramadan bazaars? According to ChatGPT, this is the age of space.

Expect to see extraterrestrial ingredients, and textiles harvested from Mars or even further out in the galaxy. Why stop at just products? Play carnival games against celestial creatures, with no telekinetic powers allowed. E.T. will definitely be phoning home after he’s tried apam balik, telling his family to sail to Earth with all haste.

Ramadan Bazaar - 100 years Ramadan bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

Inviting otherworldly beings also brings their technology into our world. Picture a steaming hot plate of food, teleported right onto your hands, or mere molecules transforming into your favourite bazaar bites – maybe with a side of Martian mayo?

Perhaps alien technology would also allow stalls to smoke out scathing reviews by turning the reviewers into fries. Hmm … Maybe we should stick to cease-and-desist letters.

Ramadan Bazaar - 100 years Ramly Burger
Image credit: DALL·E

The physical bazaar itself would see its biggest change, with stalls imagined as restaurant-like buildings rather than tents or food trucks. The entire bazaar could be its own mobile zone, free to grow itself and rearrange its configurations based on factors such as crowds, weather, space constraints, and event schedules. Think Diagon Alley on steroids.

2524 (500 years from now)

In a surprising turn of events for an AI, Chat GPT gave us two different options as to what Ramadan bazaars may look like in 500 years: Hyperspace or Dystopia.

Image credit: DALL·E

The hyperspace era sees Ramadan bazaars being based on their own planets. Yup, an entire planet just dedicated to Ramadan bazaars. With 500 more years of extraterrestrial explorations by this time, every universe or planet would have come up with their own iterations of a Ramadan bazaar. AI predicts that all of these would be consolidated onto a single planet.

Does this mean that other festivals, like Christmas or Chinese New Year, get their own planets too?

Ramadan Bazaar - 500 years bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

One interesting advancement of 2524 was how food would be prepared through quantum science and molecules. This means dishes from the past could be recreated exactly as they were meant to be, using the very ingredients they were prepared with, in that very age. Imagine: you would be able to have rendang the exact way your ancestors ate it, with lamb and spices direct from the 15th century.

Ramadan Bazaar - 500 years Space Ramly burger
Image credit: DALL·E

And of course, we’ve got to have our astronaut Ramly Pakcik making fresh hot burgers for us. It seems that in DALL.E’s imagined future, we will all be dining in spacesuits al fresco – or would that be al spazio now?

On the other hand, ChatGPT? says that technology will have advanced so far that we will be able to attend the bazaars just by sending our consciousness there in the form of Avatars (pun intended).

Ramadan Bazaar - 500 years dystopian Ramadan bazaarImage credit: DALL·E

On the flip side, ChatGPT’s doomsday scenario foresees a world that’s fallen into post-tech dystopia – the aftermath of revolutions or the earth finally collapsing from the effects of global warming. Because of this, the bazaar would be scaled back, and more closely resemble bazaars from ages past.

Ramadan Bazaar - 500 years dystopian bazaar stall
Image credit: DALL·E

You’d likely find ramshackle stalls put together with scavenged material; the offerings would revert to handmade versions. There would, of course, be technological remnants from before the tech downfall, such as robot vendors and cooking equipment.

Snacks and products would likely be limited due to sparse resources from economic downturns and unstable political environments.

Ramadan Bazaar - 500 years dystopian Ramly burger
Image credit: DALL·E

The bazaars would have to go underground because of a possible authoritarian government, with vendors and customers even having to wear camouflage for safety. ChatGPT even said the bazaars might have to be conducted online if conditions like air quality and UV have worsened by that point.

Peering into the future of Ramadan bazaars

Some of these predictions might sound outlandish and impossible, but imagine telling your great-great-great grandparents that chilli crab churros are a thing at bazaars now. Ramadan bazaars have transformed, right before our eyes, from religious celebratory gatherings to trendy hotspots for shopping and IG-worthy food.

Interestingly, there was an underlying constant behind all of  AI’s predictions – Ramadan bazaars are a cultural institution with rich value to society. Whatever era we’re in, be it spectating robot cage battles or jamming with guitar-playing uncles, the Ramadan bazaars would always be a showcase of culture, traditions and art.

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Cover image adapted from: DALL·E

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