No Thoughts, Just Vibes

Thursday 27 October // 13:30 // Drawing Studio

While the term vibe has entered the vernacular of popular culture and is no longer considered edgy, vibes are still in vogue in terms of generative artificial intelligence (Bovell, 2023; James, 2022a). In contributions and discussions on generative AI, vibes are often mentioned, for example, β€œto refer to the form of perception used by the algorithms behind AI” (James, 2022b, n.p.), or simply as a guide for adjusting the outcome of generative AI models (Parsons, 2022). Especially in recent years, our digital world has revived the notion of vibe, as it has become more common in communication, especially on contemporary, predominantly audiovisual social media platforms, to express feelings and situations, and has even become a trending content topic itself (Chayka, 2021). At the same time, algorithms have become deeply embedded in our (social) media landscape through recommender systems, and AI-generated content is increasingly populating our feeds (Austin, 2022; Lu, n.d.). This has accelerated especially since multimodal AI became publicly available last summer (Wilde, 2023). As both the usage and meaning of the term has shifted in our algorithm-driven social media landscape, there seems to be a connection between this ambiguous term, (popular) internet culture, and machine learning. Does artificial intelligence have a deeper connection to the concept of vibe? Or is it merely being used to describe another trend? Will AI-generated content soon feel outdated as the next vibe shift emerges?