Weekly dose of microtrends that will shape our future

NWO.AI’s weekly pulse: AI voices, vinyl collector boom, greenwashing, sleep trackers, and the meat supply chain...

Sarah Gupta

Dear reader,

Welcome back to another weekly signal roundup! In this edition, we're bringing you insights from several industries, from tech to sustainability.

1. AI voices

NWO.AI Signal: Artificial Voice and Synthetic Media

While virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have become part of our everyday lives, recent work creates artificial voices that can even reflect human emotion. These AI advances can be applied to everything from audiobooks to commercials, a fantastic technological improvement that could make content more accessible without investing human effort. We see significant increases in the Impact Scores for "artificial voice" and "synthetic media" over the past few years, of +416% and +486%, respectively. However, synthetic voices and videos, also known as deepfakes, can mimic real-life people.

2. Dust off your vinyl

NWO.AI Signal: Record Collector, Vinyl Records, and Vinyl Record Shortage

Despite the popularity of music streaming platforms, there has been a recent resurgence in vinyl collections, perhaps also driven by nostalgia trends. However, the plastic shortage coupled with this increase in demand has led to a shortage in vinyl records, and artists struggle to get records pressed. On the other hand, vinyls could prove to be an innovative asset class, as this medium is a tried and tested favorite across generations. We've seen significant increases in Impact Scores for topics related to vinyl records and collections, and "vinyl record shortage" is expected to continue being a concern next year.

3. ESG begets greenwashing

NWO.AI Signal: Greenwashing and ESG Investing

As more companies prioritize ESG investing, others wonder if they will follow through with their environmental goals. Corporations face pressure to show transparency around climate change efforts, as they are accused of "greenwashing" in an attempt to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the end of this month, we can see an uptick in the Impact Score for "greenwashing" and "ESG investing" of +750% and +957%, respectively.  Unsurprisingly, discussion around climate change has taken off this summer after frequent natural disasters and the proposed Infrastructure Bill.

4. Put a ring on it

NWO.AI Signal: Oura Ring and Sleep Device

We've previously written about sleep trends during the pandemic (part 1 and part 2) and how consumers are increasingly concerned about sleep hygiene and quality. This is where sleep trackers, like the Oura Ring, are beneficial. Less invasive than wearing a Fitbit or Apple Watch, wearing a ring still allows customers to monitor sleep and activity and features integrations with existing health apps. Over the past few years, we've seen an increase in Impact Score of +229% for "oura ring" and +206% for "sleep device," and these topics will continue to be of interest into the winter.

5. Supply chain: where's the meat?

NWO.AI Signal: Supply Chain Shortage & Meat Industry and Turkey Shortage

The carbon dioxide shortage in the UK has had enormous ripple effects, from fertilizer production to the meat industry. Carbon dioxide is frequently used to stun animals before slaughtering them, and the current supply disruption has put a cap on the possible production scale. Ahead of the holidays, there are warnings that a turkey shortage is also possible, and accordingly, we see an increase in Impact Score of +891% for this topic. While the supply chain shocks will lead to higher prices, it will be interesting to see if people try out more plant-based alternatives as the meat supply chain will likely remain unstable into next year.

About NWO.AI
NWO.AI's predictive platform enables leading Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to anticipate and track global cultural shifts by aggregating, analyzing, and producing actionable reports on human-generated data. We are leveraging petabytes of external, noisy, and unstructured data from various sources - including search, social media, blogs, news, patent databases, SEC filings and we are continuously adding more sources. Our mission is to answer the what, when, and most importantly, 'why' behind a consumer trend and enable our customers to detect these shifts as early as possible.

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