AI Applications in Triggering FOMO

Published on October 1, 2022

Recent advancements in AI have been impressive. Among all of the exciting applications for it, I had the thought: how effective is it at making me feel just a little bit worse about myself?

Okay, admittedly that's not as hard to do as I would like it to be. Social media influencers and algorithms seem to have cracked this ages ago. I find myself scrolling social media and slowly feeling worse about my own life. As I scroll Instagram I see beautiful moment after beautiful moment from friends and influencers. In my head I know these moments are only the highlights. They don't capture the fight just before the picture or dirty dishes just outside the frame. They've been staged and edited to look as perfect as they do. But still, my monkey-brain can't help but compare.

If I'm so willing to ignore how fake these pictures are, I wondered how far can I take it? Using the latest generative AI tools, can a server create some blurry pictures that still trigger that twinge of jealousy?

As it turns out, the answer (for myself) is emphatically yes.

I present to the result of my experimentation, Good Time Bot:

Good Time Bot is a collection of pictures I made using DALLE-2 that evoke that feeling. I paired each picture with a lorem ipsum caption and shared it. I'm no prompt engineer so they're nothing special, but the creation process for these pictures proved to be more of an exploration of my own psyche than I expected.

I spent a lot of time probing what exactly it was that triggered the FOMO in me. For me, I found that prompts that included travel, groups of people, and happiness were good starting points. Based on the content I see on social media, I don't think I'm alone with these. I'd be curious to know others would have the same experience!

You can view the complete collection of Good Time Bot on Instagram or Flickr

Footnote: I did a search to find out if anyone had done a similar project using AI-generated art. The closest thing I could find was CGI influencers. From what I can tell these are just a different way of generating meaningless content to capture attention and generate ad revenue. This is worth a post of it's own.

Written by Graham Park