News & Thinking

MTM Trends Snapshot: AI Steve For The Win and Travelling To Sleep

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News 13 Jun

AI Steve For The Win and Travelling To Sleep

This month: UK’s first TikTok election is really happening; have fictional women gone too extreme?; Even AIs aren’t immune from the trap of beauty standards; Can we save 3D movies from going extinct?; and Taylor Swift delivers a literal Earth-shattering performance.

Source: Design Week

Enter normcore 2.0
We are celebrating the decade(ish) anniversary of normcore and Rafa is the first one in the line for the party! 11 years ago, normcore came to be as a craving for something genuinely plain and generic in the midst of hypercapitalism’s stimulation overload. Dubbed an anti-trend, normcore was first introduced by the agency K-HOLE, suggesting a form of “liberation in not wanting to be exceptional.” Defying the authority of trending aesthetics, normcore is not just striving for simplicity, but also a way to find belonging and community. Inspiring people to be adaptable and find their own norm, the anti-trend started trending. And it still is. Enter normcore 2.0, where the goal is not the flamboyance of being different, but the post-mundane, cool feeling of authenticity. Some have argued that normcore could be seen as a form of activism, while others see it extending all the way to F1 fandoms. But that makes us wonder… isn’t it the other way around? Is F1, for example, now normcore? Can something be so big and mainstream that it turns, consequently, normcore? Well, that is definitely something for us to keep an eye on…

Source: Mr & Mrs Smith

Sleep tourism
With a 16 month old keeping her up at night, the surge in sleep tourism has inevitably caught Marina’s attention. Self-care is a significant focus for Gen Z travellers, with 61% prioritising travel plans that include wellness experiences – and there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep to improve your overall health and wellbeing! Skift Research found that most travellers are willing to pay more for accommodations or travel packages that emphasise sleep. From Equinox Hotels’ The Art + Science of Sleep program welcoming guests into a room that transforms into a dark, quiet and cool sleep chamber at the press of a button, to mattress brand Emma launching two hotels (in Sydney and Taipei), complete with resident sleep experts and soporific catering – this newfound impetus on getting some quality shuteye is what dreams are made of.

Credit: Mirror Online

The Trick of It

Since our last snapshot all eyes have turned to the general election, and Alex is curious to see how many non-human MPs the next parliament will have. That’s because ‘AI Steve’ is hoping to become the first AI MP. While Steve seems like an outside bet to win his seat, AI is already being used for good across the campaign trail. Nonprofit CampaignLab has created an AI-powered chatbot designed to help political volunteers learn how to interact with swing voters on the doorstep, and London-based start-up Civox offers an AI voice-calling tool to connect with voters at scale and in over 20 languages, with plans to make over 100,000 calls a day in the build-up to the US presidential election later in the year.

We identified some of the threats and solutions to come from AI in this year’s elections in our 2024 trend Political Fakery. You can read more about that trend, and the report in full here.

Marina Graham, Alex Gibson & Rafaella Dhelomme
13 June, 2024