AI Craze Compels Merriam-Webster to Name “Authentic” Its Word of 2023

The publishing company known as Merriam-Webster has been putting out dictionaries for several centuries, and in recent decades it has begun releasing a word of the year. This is meant to shed light on a particular concept of notion that held particular weight in any given context, and it appears that 2023’s word of the year turned out to be authentic.

AI's rise, including deepfakes, influences 'authentic' as Merriam-Webster's word of the year.
Photo: DIW - AIgen

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that the rise of AI might have something or the other to do with this. According to Merriam-Webster, authentic has remained a popular search term for quite some time now, but the global identity crisis that AI has created has made it a much more pertinent term than might have been the case otherwise.

Deepfakes and other forms of generative AI have created problems because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making it impossible to know what’s real. It has also been a bit of a buzzword for social media celebrities and influencers, many of whom try to set themselves apart by seeing authentic with all things having been considered and taken into account.

The most ironic example of this can be seen with Elon Musk, the CEO of X formerly known as Twitter. Musk urged his users to be more authentic, but at the same time, he fired a small army of employees that were meant to help with content moderation. As a result, misinformation started running rampant on the social media platform, something that would obviously be considered anathema to an experience that could be dubbed authentic to any reasonable extent.

The word deepfake itself has also gained a lot of traction, and Musk has once again contributed to this. His lawyers claimed that he can’t be legally compelled to comment on any statements he made since they could be deepfakes, even if he made them in a public forum.

AI is created widespread changes around the world, and it’s not looking like its influence will slow down anytime soon. Quite on the contrary, it appears that AI will continue to have a massive impact on global culture, and it will be interesting to see what that looks like once 2024 rolls around.

Read next: It’s About Time Brands Start to Think About What Consumers Want When It Comes to Use of AI
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