For kids—and grown-ups who are kids at heart—Halloween is one of the most fun days of the year. What once began a Celtic tradition has become a day in which everyone in America has an excuse to celebrate, reconnect with friends, eat good food, and dress up. What’s better than delicious desserts, office events, haunted houses, night walks, and parties? That isn’t a rhetorical question.
This year, when you celebrate Halloween, remember the event’s history; in an age of AI, the history of Halloween is more relevant than ever since the Fourth Industrial Revolution has sparked a golden age of creativity. Welcome to the Halloween party of the future.
Then, now, and future-now
The word “Halloween” is a mashup of two words, “hallows” and “eve.” In 1785, Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote a poem, “Halloween,” which helped popularize the name for the Celtic tradition. More than 200 years later, the Halloween of days’ past looks completely different from the holiday around the corner. Even still, one fact is timeless—Halloween originated from a tradition of human storytelling that gives rise to the innovation economy that exists today.
The Halloween party 10 years from now will look very different from the memories of today and even just five or 10 years ago. In 100 years, the human mind can’t even comprehend what this unique day of celebration will bring—remember, even space travel is in the realm of possibility.
Every year, human technology advances faster, and with 2020 around the corner, we live in a world in which robots, artificial intelligence, social networks, and digital art are part of everyday existence. The Halloween party of the future is already here. So what are some fun things to expect on October 31, when America’s costume alter-egos emerge from hiding?
Celebrate with the entire world
Haven’t found the right party, people, or celebration for your office or family? No worries—NASA has you covered. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology are hosting a series of online educational events for free, for anywhere in the world. Even if you’re planning to spend your Halloween in a remote cabin, you still have a party at your fingertips. The event is equal parts futuristic and fun—you could even bring these resources your home or office party. Here’s what NASA is promising through its online Halloween portal:
- Create a pumpkin like a NASA engineer—with “out of this world” ideas
- Carve a space-themed pumpkin with downloadable stencils
- Browse a Flickr album of creative pumpkins from NASA engineers
- Browse a galaxy of horrors with facts about planets that NASA promises are scarier than anything on Earth
The Halloween party of the future is based on timeless human concepts of connection and community. No matter where you are in the world, you can always find a celebration. Imagine what this party will look like when augmented and virtual reality become even more commonplace.
Let AI worry about your costume
At any given time, responsibilities are whirring in your mind. Between your job, family, and other commitments, it’s hard to devote brain space to what you’re going to wear for one day of the year—especially if you’re unlikely to wear that outfit more than once. That’s where artificial intelligence enters the picture. Let a neural network come up with costume ideas for you.
When you’re not worrying about your costume, you have more time to get creative. Here’s an algorithm to check out for yourself.
Up your scary-game
Festive decorations are fun—but they also take time and energy. With the holiday season around the corner, it’s easy to look past Halloween. Imagine the effort of going to the store and spending money on Halloween surprise. Or, as an alternative, go check out the MIT Nightmare Machine, which generates AI horror imagery.
- Find some scary pictures
- Print them out or display them on a wall with a TV or projector
- Put on some scary music
You’ll have a haunted house at your finger tips—change the room decor as often as you want.
Get creative and have fun!