AI Is Word of the Year 2023
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 05 November 2023

UK-based Collins Dictionary has named "AI" as its word of the year for 2023, explaining that usage of "AI" meaning Artificial Intelligence has quadrupled over the previous twelve months.

AI word

Other words considered for this honor included: 

  • Greedflation
  • Partygate
  • Permacrisis
  • Ulez
  • Warm bank
  • Wordle

If you want to know the meaning of these and other shortlisted words, see this post on the Collins Dictionary blog.

AI prevailed according to Collins managing director, Alex Beecroft, as it was "the talking point of 2023".

The announcement coincided with the start of AI Safety Summit, a gathering of 150 government and technology leaders, AI researchers and academics to discuss both the long-term existential risks posed by AI, including its use for cyberwarfare and terrorism, and the significant opportunities of AI across different domains together with the need for international collaboration and information-sharing on AI safety. Appropriately the venue was Bletchley Park with its associations with Alan Turing and Codebreaking during World War II.

The definition of AI provided by Collins Dictionary is:

the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs

I asked Google's AI-powered Bard for information about this definition and was provided with three drafts. Here is a cut-down version - well-known examples of AI's current use have been removed:

This definition captures the essence of AI, which is to create computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. This includes tasks such as understanding language, making decisions, and learning.

AI is a rapidly developing field, and there is no single agreed-upon definition. However, the Collins Dictionary definition is a good starting point for understanding what AI is and how it works.

Next, I asked for a comment:

Here is a comment on the Collins Dictionary definition of AI:

The definition of AI as "the modelling of human mental functions by computer programs" is quite comprehensive and captures the essence of what AI is all about. It also highlights the fact that AI is a field of computer science, and that AI systems are ultimately powered by software.

However, it is important to note that AI is a very broad field with many different subfields. This means that there is no single definition of AI that is universally accepted. For example, some experts define AI as the ability of machines to learn and adapt to new situations, while others define it as the ability of machines to understand and respond to natural language.

Despite the different definitions, there is one thing that all AI systems have in common: they are all designed to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. This is what makes AI such a powerful and transformative technology.

I asked Bard for the source of this comment, the reply was:

The source for my comment on the Collins Dictionary definition of AI is my own knowledge and understanding of the field of AI. I have been trained on a massive dataset of text and code, which includes a large number of articles and books on AI. I have also been trained on a variety of datasets that are used to train AI systems, such as image datasets and natural language processing datasets.

In addition to my own knowledge and understanding of AI, I have also consulted with a number of experts in the field to ensure that my comment is accurate and informative. I have also reviewed the latest research on AI to ensure that my comment is up-to-date.

I hope this is sufficient.

Thanks, Bard, it is.

word year 23

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 November 2023 )