Fandom Reimagined, Through the Power of A.I.

Tech helps build vibrant communities IRL

A.I. is impacting life far beyond the screen. Sporting events, concerts and branded entertainment are being enhanced in creative ways, driven largely by new technologies. As builders of these cultural touchstones for brands, we spend a lot of time analyzing what we call "fandom"—a state that transcends shared interests to reflect users' identities.

We see a thrilling new era in engagement as A.I. helps fandom expand in leaps and bounds. It's becoming more immersive, personalized and rewarding for consumers, artists and brands.

Below, we explore some fresh, innovative ways that marketers are engaging with fans.

Community and Belonging

Fandom thrives on a sense of belonging and community, and A.I. can play a crucial role by providing spaces for fans to connect.

One initiative that exemplifies this is "My Blue Thoughts" by Lauv. The recording artist advocates for mental-health awareness, and he uses his global platform to initiate conversations and provide support. The project began as a simple box at concerts, where fans could anonymously share their thoughts and feelings. It has since evolved into an A.I.-powered platform developed in partnership with Microsoft. This platform allows users from around the world to express their emotions, share personal stories and interact with others who are going through similar experiences. In short: It lets them know they're not alone.

Interaction and Engagement

Fashion designer Priya Ahluwalia recently bridged the gap between technology and sustainability. Like Lauv, she working with Microsoft, launching Circulate, an initiative aimed at driving environmental change.

Circulate allows anyone to contribute to Ahluwalia's collection. Folks donate used clothing through the app. A.I. analyzes each garment, categorizing it based on color, fabric type, style and condition. This level of detail assists the Ahluwalia team in understanding the potential applications for each donated item, optimizes their upcycling process and minimizes waste.

Through their contributions, fans engage in a meaningful, hands-on way. They are not passive consumers, but active participants, making a tangible impact on the collection. Here, technology not only enhances the sustainability of fashion, but also allows fans to participate on a deeper level, redefining the relationship between creators and their supporters.

Identity and Self-Expression

Fandom is also about celebrating individuality and self-expression. On that score, A.I. can provide audiences with tools for developing fan art and fiction, personalized merchandise, customized profiles and avatars.

Grimes is now inviting followers to utilize a computer-generated version of her voice to compose new music. The pilot program, Elf.Tech, allows peeps to convert vocal samples into a "GrimesAI voiceprint" for creating original songs. The program offers professional distribution and a 50 percent royalty split for approved collaborations. This initiative showcases Grimes' dedication to exploring novel artistic avenues and signifies a potential shift in how fandom may benefit more people in the future. Her pioneering attitude could usher in a new era, bridging the gap between artists and their audience.

As we traverse this evolving landscape, it becomes clear that the future is here, and it's powered by A.I. Yes, this new reality presents challenges. But it also holds immense promise for a more vibrant, engaged and diverse world of fandom.

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