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If you’re worried about ChatGPT and annoyed by quiet quitting, these words are for you

Creative agency Day One Agency is releasing its annual “Predictionary,” a list of words that it says will define the year.

If you’re worried about ChatGPT and annoyed by quiet quitting, these words are for you
[Source photo: CompareFibre/Unsplash]

They say the future isn’t written, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a pre-write.

For the last few years, the creative folks at Day One Agency have been doing just that. The agency on Wednesday just released its third annual “Predictionary,” which it describes as a sort of cross between a dictionary and a prediction of future trends, packaged up in a series of made-up words that it believes will define the coming year. (Think funny portmanteaus like “flock market” and “supply pain,” both of which made the list last year.)

Day One gave Fast Company an exclusive first look at the list for 2023, and while not all the words roll off the tongue, they do a pretty good job of capturing our weird moment. Here are a few that stood out:

  • AI-nxiety [ay-eye-ang-zai-uh-tee] Noun / Unease about the overarching ramifications of AI on human creativity and ingenuity. The sense of foreboding as to whether or not what you’re seeing is being created by man or machine.
  • Fratigue [phr-uh-teeg] Noun / Franchise fatigue. Entertainment’s law of diminishing returns; when the constant and inevitable churn of franchise spinoffs fuels exhaustion instead of hype.
  • TikTokocene [tik-tok-o-scene] Noun / The cultural era in which TikTok is a dominant influence over culture: a driving force for taste, celebrity, news, and consumption which may outlast the app’s existence.
  • Trendflation [trend-flay-shun]  Noun / The exponential rise in mass manufactured “trends” met with decreased cultural value and/or impact.

It’s hard to argue with that first one. Anxiety over generative AI and platforms like ChatGPT and DALL-E seemed to hit fever pitch almost as soon as they were released. We’ve already seen plenty of smart people express concern that this new era of AI will transform skilled work to the point of obsolescence, not to mention lawsuits over how the AI models are trained and controversies over how AI-assisted writing is being applied in the workplace. In short, it’s a safe bet that people will still be talking about generative AI this time next year. Well, maybe not real people.

I was also struck by that last word above, “trendflation,” which speaks to the quirks of our ever-faster news cycle and the media-fueled tendency to always want to find the next big thing. We saw this last year not just with “quiet quitting,” but also its inevitable countless offshoots, such as “quiet firing” and “quiet promotions.” Yes, there was even “quiet dieting.” The idea that these types of manufactured trends lose their cultural impact the more we flood the zone with them is intriguing and very likely true. Remember when everyone was talking about nepo babies? Because that was a month ago.

Josh Rosenberg, Day One Agency’s cofounder and CEO, says Predictionary words are cooked up in brainstorming meetings by more than a dozen of the agency’s creative team. “The unique thinking behind Predictionary stems from our DNA as a traditionally untraditional agency that moves at the speed of culture,” he told Fast Company in an email. “Many of our words were spot on last year with our predictions and provided some really tangible outcomes based on our insights.”

For instance, last year’s “flock market” was defined as “mercurial and nihilistic investment patterns driven by online communities, usually at the whim of a Reddit thread or tweet by Elon Musk.” In the wake of Musk’s takeover of Twitter in October—perhaps the ultimate mercurial investment—it feels eerily prescient, if also a little depressing.

You can check out Day One’s full 2023 Predictionary here.

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Christopher Zara is a senior news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine. More

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