Cambridge Dictionary's AI-inspired 2023

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The Cambridge Dictionary's AI-inspired word of the year for 2023 is "hallucinate". Traditionally, the term "hallucinate" is defined as "to seem to see, hear, feel, or smell something that does not exist". However, in 2023, the term gained an additional definition related to artificial intelligence (AI): "when an AI hallucinates, it produces false information". This new definition was inspired by the increasing use of AI, particularly generative AI, and the challenges it presents. For instance, a US law firm used an AI model, ChatGPT, for legal research, which led to fictitious cases being cited in court. The term's new usage underscores the need for humans to apply critical thinking when using AI tools, as these tools can produce false or misleading information, a phenomenon now referred to as AI "hallucinating". The choice of "hallucinate" as the word of the year reflects a subtle yet profound shift in perception: the AI, not the user, is the one hallucinating. This linguistic choice underscores our readiness to ascribe human-like attributes to AI. In addition to "hallucinate", the Cambridge Dictionary lexicographers added new AI-related definitions to the dictionary in 2023, including "large language model" (or LLM), "generative AI" (or GenAI), and "GPT". These additions were among about 6,000 new words and definitions added in 2023.
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