The future of hobbies: How AI is shaping our leisure time 

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Authors:  

Maj Reuss | Research Communications Officer
Trilateral Research |

Date: 18 November 2023

The technology of artificial intelligence (AI) has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years, beginning to influence every aspect of our lives. From energy and transportation to healthcare and business, AI is transforming industries and reshaping how we live and work. But what about our hobbies? How will AI impact the things we do in our downtime for enjoyment? Whether you’re an artist, a gamer, a gardener, a dancer, a sportsperson, a photographer, a foodie, a walker, or a musician, there’s the potential for AI to have an impact on your hobby. Let’s take a closer look at how AI is affecting our hobbies, and how it’s changing the way we pursue our passions.

AI and Exercise

One area that is being revolutionised by AI is exercise and sports. AI can offer users personalised workouts creating customised exercise plans based on individual goals, fitness levels, and preferences. This personalisation is useful for people at all levels of their exercise journey, making it easier to get into fitness and learn what works for them as an individual. AI can also offer real-time feedback on form, pace, and heart rate during workouts. It can correct posture and ensure safety, which is especially useful for beginners. Virtual coaches and personal trainers guide users through exercises, providing encouragement and tips, and tracking their progress. This can create a sense of encouragement and motivation, making it easier for users to stay committed. AI can also offer personalised nutritional advice, advising on meal plans and dietary adjustments to align with your fitness goals.

With the rise of watches that track exercise and dozens of fitness apps to choose from, AI has quickly become people’s go-to personal trainer. The fitness community has embraced these wearables, and now the conversation has shifted from the experience of exercise, more to the stats that the wearables are measuring within exercise. This makes suggestions for improvements a bit more personalised and evidence-based. This potentially leads to less human interaction, which is worth some consideration. The benefit of having a real human trainer is that they can physically correct form issues, which could result in injury, and fix them in real time with hands-on help. They can also offer personalised advice, as they have become experts on the matter, coming from a place of personal experience, rather than just based on stats and data. AI could also potentially promote unhealthy exercise and diet habits, leading to body image issues if not designed responsibly. There’s a fine line between promoting fitness and perpetuating unrealistic ideals if you feel you are not living up to the standards that AI has set.

AI and Art

An area that has become extremely controversial with the rise of AI is art and creativity. AI algorithms can analyse existing artworks, identify artistic styles, and even generate new pieces of art. In addition, AI-powered technologies, like virtual reality experiences and personalised content recommendations can give access to art and museums digitally. This became particularly relevant during COVID-19, when museums were leveraging AI to make art more widely accessible and inclusive. Augmented Reality (AR) art installations are providing unique and interactive art experiences that can bridge the gap between real and virtual worlds, engaging audiences in exciting new ways.

However, a large problem related to AI-generated art is the question of originality and authenticity. This means, that some AI-generated art could be plagiarised and taken from an original source. Another aspect is the replacement of real humans in the creative industry with AI art generators. Many industries are replacing designers with AI, finding it to be a more cost-effective solution. Some, like smaller tabletop game developers, are benefitting from AI art as they wouldn’t have had the budget for an original artist in the first place. The use of AI art allows these small-scale developers to enter the market, using AI art to be able to design creative tabletop games. They believe there is a potential for AI art to reshape the industry positively, enhancing diversity and lowering production costs while maintaining artistic integrity. At the moment however, AI art seems to be becoming successful at the cost of its human counterparts.

AI and Gardening

Gardening is another hobby that has been affected by AI. Some argue that AI is making gardening more accessible and efficient. Through the use of smart gardening tools, gardeners can measure soil conditions, monitor weather forecasts, and analyse their plant health. AI can provide real-time data and recommendations to effectively care for the garden. AI can also identify pests and diseases in plants by analysing images of leaves or soil samples. This early detection helps gardeners protect their gardens. It can suggest crop rotation plans and optimal planting schedules for different regions, helping gardeners maximise their harvests, and even help gardeners design their gardens for the best possible harvests. For gardening beginners who are still developing their plant instinct and getting to know their plants, AI applications can be useful in the learning stages of the process.

There could be pushback when it comes to AI in gardening, as many people use their hobbies to get away from screens after looking at them all day. Perhaps, after a full day of work, they don’t then want to look at another screen. Another potential drawback is the loss of our gardening instincts. If you are an experienced gardener, you will usually know what your garden needs, and when. Could using AI to tell you when to water, and with what weather, dull your gardening instincts?

The Dangers of AI Hobbies

While AI offers many benefits for hobbies, it also presents some challenges that should be taken into consideration. One of the biggest concerns could be the development of over-reliance on AI. Hobbies are often a means of relaxation and creativity, but excessive reliance on AI could potentially diminish the personal touch and spontaneity that make hobbies enjoyable.

Another area of concern is privacy and data security. As hobbies are usually a very personal activity, AI systems would require access to personal data to personalise experiences. People with specific hobbies would need to be cautious about the data they share and what platforms they use.

Lastly, and as we have discussed in a previous article, there is a risk of AI bias. The algorithms that AI uses could unintentionally reinforce stereotypes or biases affecting the content and recommendations users receive. It would be essential to develop and use AI responsibly, ensuring that it respects diversity and promotes inclusion.

 

AI is going to transform the way we pursue our hobbies. It has the power to enhance personalisation, creativity, learning, and community-building within our leisure activities. It can also lead to more isolation, dependence on devices, and a less human-focused touch. As we navigate the blending of AI with our hobbies, it’s essential to strike a balance between embracing the benefits of AI and preserving the personal touch of what makes our hobbies meaningful. As you reflect on your own interests, think about how AI has already impacted your hobbies or how it might do so in the future.

 

You can learn more about Trilateral’s work on responsible AI here.

 

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