Artificial Intelligence, Nostalgia and Tik Tok

“Nostalgia is denial – the denial of the painful present… This denial is called golden age thinking – the delusion that some other time is better than the one we live in – a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people. It is difficult to face the present.”

Michael Sheen stars as Paul in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Idyllic retrospection, or rosy retrospection, refers to our tendency to disproportionately favor past events compared to the present. Generally, nostalgia comforts us and gives us a sense of well-being. Returning to happier times is rejuvenating, making us feel that we are more than dead.

Perception of time affects our life decisions. Various studies have shown that as people approach a decade change in their chronological age, for example, 40 or 50, they adopt behaviors that help them feel more productive with their time.

They exercise more, have an affair, and eat healthier. To realize that a new beginning brings new goals, or to make up for the time they feel lost by turning another year old.

Nostalgia is very powerful in economic terms, think for example of the Latino immigrant market in the US. For those who need to leave in search of new opportunities, the products of their childhood can help them find their roots and have deeper meaning and help them maintain certain traditions.

According to Statista, more than 60 million Hispanic Americans live in the United States, creating an interesting market for so-called “marketing” or “nostalgic products” that is estimated at more than US 750 million annually.

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Capitalizing on this phenomenon and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into social networks, the Epik app has made the #YearBook trend viral. The app requires uploading a few selfies, and uses AI to create 90s-reminiscent images with faces in the photos, so that the person can publish them like a yearbook. Gives a very nostalgic touch. Various celebrities have joined this trend.

Although they don’t advertise it as such, the images created are supposed to enhance people’s faces and beautify them by removing certain imperfections. As I have analyzed in this column, filters are very common in social networks and are used to improve appearance.

Below are two lessons from this trend:

  1. In the right context, nostalgia is powerful, companies can look for elements that lead consumers to remember past times to create nostalgic feelings and achieve an emotional connection with the brand.
  2. AI is a valuable tool to create situations that were previously impossible. For example, when I reviewed the social network BeFake, it used AI to put users in unrealistic situations. It also helps us to relive the past, which is always better than the time we live in.

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