Artificial Intelligence (AI) has claimed its spot as the Collins Dictionary’s 2023 Word of the Year. Its extraordinary burst into public dialogue and rapid development throughout the year have not gone unnoticed.
Indeed, AI has become a central theme in many sectors, marking the onset of what many believe to be the next significant technological revolution.
AI’s Ascent to Stardom
“AI,” short for artificial intelligence, is no stranger to the tech-savvy. However, 2023 has seen this term leap from industry jargon to a household name. Collins Dictionary has aptly defined AI as “the modeling of human mental functions by computer programs.”
— editorji (@editorji) November 1, 2023
This year, AI-powered language models have become a significant talking point, capturing the public’s imagination and fueling discussions across various platforms. The prominence of AI has underscored the significant strides made in technology, with innovations touching upon numerous aspects of daily life and industry operations.
Besides its technological prowess, AI has stirred considerable debate on ethics, accountability, and the future of work. Consequently, it has prompted policymakers, business leaders, and citizens alike to ponder its implications, ensuring that AI’s integration into society is both responsible and beneficial.
Digital Culture and Banking in the Spotlight
In its pursuit of the zeitgeist, Collins has turned its attention to digital culture, embracing terms that encapsulate the changing dynamics of our online interactions. “De-influencing” has made its way onto the shortlist, capturing the trend of influencers steering their followers away from certain products or lifestyle choices. This step reflects a broader shift in how influencers engage with their audience, demonstrating accountability and a sense of responsibility.
This is wrong.
No one should be barred from using basic services for their political views.
Free speech is the cornerstone of our democracy. https://t.co/8S8Rzyh9Si
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 19, 2023
Yet, it’s not just the digital culture sphere that’s seen noteworthy changes. The finance world has had its share of disruptions, with “debanking” making its presence felt on Collins’ shortlist. Defined as “the act of depriving a person of banking facilities,” debanking has become a point of contention, especially in cryptocurrencies and politics. High-profile cases, such as Nigel Farage’s dispute with Coutts Bank, have thrown this issue into sharp relief, sparking debates and calls for regulatory reforms.
The case of Farage and others who have experienced debanking highlights a growing concern around financial access and freedom of speech. Moreover, it questions the power dynamics between individuals and financial institutions. Hence, ensuring fairness and transparency in these matters has become paramount.
Navigating a Shifting Landscape
As AI continues to weave its way into the fabric of society and as the digital culture and financial sectors adapt to evolving circumstances, the lexicon of the times adapts in tandem. Words like “greedflation” have emerged, capturing the sentiment of a population grappling with inflation and the perception of corporate profiteering.
Significantly, the role of dictionaries like Collins extends beyond mere word curation. They serve as cultural barometers, reflecting the collective consciousness and the issues that dominate public discourse. The presence of terms like “AI,” “de-influencing,” and “debanking” in this year’s shortlist emphasizes the interplay of technology, culture, and finance. Furthermore, it highlights the intricacies of modern times as well as the critical need for a comprehensive knowledge of the forces affecting the globe.