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‘AI’ chosen as the word of 2023 by Collins Dictionary

The Collins Dictionary has named AI as the word of the year. File image.

The Collins Dictionary has named AI as the word of the year. File image.

Published Nov 7, 2023


“AI”, the abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence, has been named as the word of 2023 by Collins Dictionary.

This selection by the UK dictionary publisher reflects the increasing prominence of Artificial Intelligence, which is in reference to the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs, in modern society.

In a statement to announce its decision in selecting the word of the year, Collins Dictionary explained that AI is “considered to be the next great technological revolution.”

“AI has seen rapid development and has been much talked about in 2023, and while AI’s capabilities in mimicking human speech fascinated people at first, they were also the source of some anxiety,“ they added.

In the statement, the Collins Dictionary further explained: “If computers were suddenly experts in that most human of domains, language, what next?

“Cue an explosion of debate, scrutiny, and prediction, and more than enough justification for Collins’ 2023 Word of the Year: AI.”

And according to Alex Beecroft, the managing director of the Collins Dictionary, AI has been the central point of discussion this year, with its usage quadrupling.

This recognition comes from the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who last week hosted a summit to explore the potential benefits of AI while addressing associated risks.

And notably, AI has also played a role in music, with The Beatles utilising it to retrieve John Lennon’s vocals from an old cassette to create their “last song”, set to be released soon.

Meanwhile, The Collins Dictionary explained that their The Word of the Year selection traditionally mirrors the key preoccupations and discussions of a given year.

In 2022, the The Word of the Year was “permacrisis,” which reflected the constant upheavals in British politics.

The year prior, “NFTs” (non-fungible tokens) reached its peak of chatter, while 2020 was overwhelmingly dominated by the term “lockdown” in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contenders for Word of the Year 2023:

Several other words and phrases were in the running for Word of the Year in 2023. They include:

  • Bazball
  • Canon event
  • Debanking
  • Deinfluencing
  • Greedflation
  • Nepo baby
  • Semaglutide
  • Ultraprocessed
  • Ulez

The Collins Dictionary said that each of these contenders reflected the diverse topics and trends that have shaped public discourse over the course of the year.

“The choice of “AI” as the Word of the Year underscores the growing significance of artificial intelligence in various aspects of our lives, from technology and industry to entertainment and beyond,” they said.