If the Matrix is created, endless replaying a cultural landscape set in the “not too distant future” it will be because of fandom.
If AI generated entertainment-on-demand -does- become the norm*, after pornography the next audience to serve will surely be fandom. This is an audience already primed to desiring repetition of form, theme, style, and favored actors. With AI entertainment-on-demand they can recreate their favorites or generate endless variations of witty Avenger dialog. For a slight upcharge in IP licensing, they can even ship and mashup heroes from different franchises and create dream-teams of directors and writers like it was Fantasy Football.
At first, this won’t be recognzied for what it is and we’ll see a golden age of fan-generated content shared and upvoted. But over time it will result in a cultural folkway, an anchoring of cultural mores to a given time and place that persists long after that population is gone; like the Seeds of Albion or 11 Nations concept.
The folkways that begin in fandom will of course spread to other audiences and other uses. I’d say that after Fandom, AI will next serve the great settling of political preferences delivering 24×7 of regurgitated partisan pablum. But let’s be honest: Fox, CNN, and MSNBC have already been doing that for years. AI may allow favorite hosts and shipped panels like custom made Crossfire (Tucker Carlson vs. Rachel Madow!!)
What will result however, as each folkway creates its anchors for a particular audience, is a form of Matrix; constantly replaying whatevever it was that was most desired at a given place and time. But it will start with fandom.**
*Of course I don’t think this will become the norm. See first comment for more details.
** After pornography of course because the internet is for…