In the dawn of 2023, we find ourselves embroiled in deep discussions surrounding a term that has rapidly taken hold of mankind’s collective consciousness – artificial intelligence. Indeed, such fervent debate surrounding whether artificial intelligence will shape our future for the better or spell impending doom has culminated in it warranting title of the “word of the year,” as bestowed by the esteemed compilers of Collins Dictionary.
Impressively, the frequency of usage for this crucial phrase has seen a fourfold climb within the span of a year, as declared by the publisher.
While competition was stiff, with candidate words ranging from ultraprocessed to Ulez, the director of Collins, Alex Beecroft, credited artificial intelligence as driving the discourse for the year 2023. He remarked upon how AI’s meteoric rise and subsequent assimilation into everyday life mirrored the once-futuristic but now ubiquitous technologies such as email and streaming services.
Asked to comment on this milestone, ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, opined to BBC News, “AI’s recognition as the word of the year by Collins Dictionary mirrors the seismic shifts in our swiftly evolving world, a world that now thrives on the might of algorithms and data.”
Coinciding with this announcement from Collins, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak convened a summit featuring an array of world leaders, tech heads, scholars, and AI researchers. The purpose? A roundtable exploration of how to increase the boons of this robust technology whilst concurrently curbing any potential pitfalls.
In an interesting application of AI, the Beatles have harnessed this power to revive John Lennon’s vocals from an archaic cassette, resulting in the creation of “their last song”, slated for a release in the near future. On the other hand, musician Sir Cliff Richard, entertaining a rather comical misapprehension of the phrase “AI” as “artificial insemination”, prefered to maintain a distance.
Indeed, Collins Dictionary’s choice of the word of the year typically mirrors the times that we live in. The word of 2022, permacrisis, originated from the ceaseless tumult in British politics. Back in 2021, talk of NFTs or non-fungible tokens peaked. Meanwhile, 2020 saw the term lockdown dominating the vernacular.
Collins also shortlisted other compelling contenders for the word of the year for 2023 such as Bazball, Canon event, Debanking, Deinfluencing, Greedflation, Nepo baby, Semaglutide, Ultraprocessed, and Ulez. Different as these terms may be, they are all reflections of a rapidly changing world that does not pause to wait for those unwilling or unable to catch up.