In the ever-evolving landscape of language and lexicon, one term has risen to command the spotlight. “AI,” an acronym for “Artificial Intelligence,” has been crowned Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2023.
Collins Dictionary’s choice to honor “AI” as the Word of the Year speaks volumes about its pervasive presence in our contemporary discourse. To select this word, an extensive database housing 20 billion words from an array of sources, including websites, newspapers, magazines, and books, was meticulously analyzed. The trajectory of “AI” usage surged alongside the mounting discussions surrounding its implications.
AI’s omnipresence in our lives is palpable through milestones such as the launch of ChatGPT. This AI-driven chatbot attracted 100 million users within two months of its introduction in November 2022. This widespread adoption has propelled AI from the fringes of a niche subject into the core of mainstream conversations and daily news reports.
The declaration of “AI” as the Word of the Year comes when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is gearing up to host the inaugural AI Summit at Bletchley Park, signifying the government’s acknowledgment of AI’s profound impact on various sectors.
While AI takes center stage, the shortlist is a rich tapestry of words encompassing health, pop culture, and finance. Among these, “Greedflation” stands out as a term characterizing the exploitation of inflation to inflate prices artificially. It emerged as a notable word in light of persistent concerns over rising consumer prices, particularly for essentials like food and fuel.
In politics, “debunking,” originating from Nigel Farage’s clash with private bank Coutts, found its place in the dictionary, reflecting the evolving nature of financial terminologies. “ULEZ,” an acronym representing “Ultra Low Emissions Zone,” continued to fuel debates, especially within London’s ambitious expansion of this environmental initiative.
In pop culture, “Nepo Baby” emerged as a defining term, referring to individuals, often in the entertainment industry, who advance their careers thanks to their famous parents. Similarly, “canon event,” popularized by the film “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” signifies an event that significantly shapes an individual’s character or identity.
In the health domain, “ultra-processed” indicates unhealthy and harmful dietary choices. This term aligns with mounting concerns about public health, especially in the face of the potential risks posed by such diets.
Furthermore, “semaglutide,” a medication designed to suppress appetite and regulate blood sugar, garnered attention due to its association with an increase in suicidal thoughts.
Lastly, “Bazball,” a term representing an aggressively batting style in test cricket, found its way into the shortlist, highlighting the evolving dynamics in the world of sports.
All in all, the proclamation of “AI” as the Word of the Year is a testament to the transformation of technology from a niche subject into a prevalent topic in everyday conversation. The diverse array of shortlisted words emphasizes the dynamic and ever-changing landscape of linguistic trends in 2023.