Merriam-Webster Dictionary has named "authentic" the Word of the Year for 2023, in the age of profound fakes, identity crises, and Elon Musk. Merriam-Webster stated in its release that the word reflects what "we're thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more than ever."
According to the report, the word "authentic" saw a surge in popularity in 2023 as a result of increased stories and conversations about celebrity culture, identity, and social media. Many celebrities, like Taylor Swift and Sam Smith, have made headlines by expressing a desire for the "authentic self" and "authentic voice." The most important part of the announcement, however, came in the fifth paragraph, indicating the importance of a technical breakthrough that has fast become widespread - artificial intelligence.
"And with the rise of artificial intelligence—and its impact on deep fake videos, actors' contracts, academic honesty, and a vast number of other topics — the line between 'real' and 'fake' has become increasingly blurred," the company's press release stated.
The most recent addition to the list reflects the times in which we live, with artificial intelligence (AI) taking center stage in newsrooms, boardrooms, and, well, pretty much everywhere. The Cambridge Dictionary named "hallucinate" its Word of the Year 2023 earlier this year. The tagline that followed the news was, "When an artificial intelligence hallucinates, it produces false information."
Collins English Dictionary took it a step farther and named "AI" the Word of the Year 2023. According to the revelation, the use of the word (strictly an initialism) has quadrupled in the last year. Oxford Dictionary and Dictionary.com have yet to reveal their respective 2023 words of the year.
This was the year of artificial intelligence. From the introduction of ChatGPT to examples of deepfakes involving celebrities, people throughout the world are still debating whether this technology would accelerate human progress or cause concern. AI has been a benefit to students and influencers. Perhaps not for teachers and governments. "Deepfake" was one of the words that "authentic" defeated to become the victor. According to Merriam-Webster, the term gained popularity after Musk's lawyers in a Tesla lawsuit stated that he is frequently the focus of deepfake videos, and again after Ryan Reynolds' visage appeared in a fake, AI-generated Tesla ad.
It was recently in the news in India when deepfakes of actor Rashmika Mandanna went viral. The Indian government is considering penalizing the developers of deepfakes as well as the platforms that host them.
A more recent advancement in AI has piqued everyone's interest. According to reports, Sam Altman was fired from OpenAI owing to an artificial general intelligence (AGI) project called Q* (pronounced Q Star). It is believed that the software can solve math issues, demonstrating an advance from traditional language-based methods. Altman has stated numerous times that AGI will solve issues faster than humans.