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‘AI’ named Collins Word of the Year

Lexicographers at Collins Dictionary said use of the term AI had "accelerated" and that it had become the dominant conversation of 2023
Lexicographers at Collins Dictionary said use of the term AI had "accelerated" and that it had become the dominant conversation of 2023 - Copyright AFP/File Josep LAGO
Lexicographers at Collins Dictionary said use of the term AI had "accelerated" and that it had become the dominant conversation of 2023 - Copyright AFP/File Josep LAGO

The abbreviation of artificial intelligence (AI) has been named the Collins Word of the Year for 2023, the dictionary publisher said on Tuesday.

Lexicographers at Collins Dictionary said use of the term had “accelerated” and that it had become the dominant conversation of 2023.

“We know that AI has been a big focus this year in the way that it has developed and has quickly become as ubiquitous and embedded in our lives as email, streaming or any other once futuristic, now everyday technology,” Collins managing director Alex Beecroft said.

Collins said its wordsmiths analysed the Collins Corpus, a database that contains more than 20 billion words with written material from websites, newspapers, magazines and books published around the world.

It also draws on spoken material from radio, TV and everyday conversations, while new data is fed into the Corpus every month, to help the Collins dictionary editors identify new words and meanings from the moment they are first used.

“Use of the word as monitored through our Collins Corpus is always interesting and there was no question that this has also been the talking point of 2023,” Beecroft said.

Other words on Collins list include “nepo baby”, which has become a popular phrase to describe the children of celebrities who have succeeded in industries similar to those of their parents.

“Greedflation”, meaning companies making profits during the cost of living crisis, and “Ulez”, the ultra-low emission zone that penalises drivers of the most-polluting cars in London, were also mentioned.

Social media terms such as “deinfluencing” or “de-influencing”, meaning to “warn followers to avoid certain commercial products”, were also on the Collins list.

This summer’s Ashes series between England and Australia had many people talking about a style of cricket dubbed “Bazball”, according to Collins.

The term refers to New Zealand cricketer and coach Brendon McCullum, known as Baz, who advocates a philosophy of relaxed minds, aggressive tactics and positive energy.

The word “permacrisis”, defined as “an extended period of instability and insecurity” was the Collins word of the year in 2022.

In 2020, it was “lockdown”. In 2016, it was “Brexit”.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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