Merriam-Webster 2023 Word of the Year Is „Real” Thanks to AI – The Hollywood Reporter

With the boom in generative artificial intelligence technology and continued interest in how people present themselves on social media, Merriam-Webster has named „authentic” as its 2023 word of the year.

Interest in AI and „popular culture, identity and social media” prompted readers to the term, according to the dictionary.

„The rise of AI has helped fuel interest in the word,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large at Merriam-Webster, in a statement. The line between “real” and “fake” is increasingly blurred, and as a result, in social media and marketing, it has become the gold standard for building credibility — and
Credibility, paradoxically, has become a performance.

Generative AI technology like ChatGPT and Midjourney has sparked interest in what’s possible, and raised questions about what is truly „real.” While social media has long been a place where people share carefully edited versions of their daily lives, authenticity is something that many people find value in following their social channels.

Merriam-Webster also highlighted several buzzwords in 2023, including „deepfake,” driven by videos showing how powerful AI-driven technology is; „dystopian,” climate change concerns and AI concerns; “Coronation” around the coronation of King Charles; „Ris,” which was added to the dictionary in September; And „X” has officially rebranded the site formerly known as Twitter.

„As always,” Sokolowski added, „our top searches offer a window into the world — revealing the experiences and ideas that shaped the year.”

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