The boundary between real and fake has become blurred… Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is ‘authentic’

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Photo source: Wikipedia

On the 27th (local time), the famous American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster selected ‘authentic’, which means ‘sincere, true, real’, as the word of the year for 2023. The Associated Press reported that with the advent of the artificial intelligence (AI) era, ‘deepfakes’, which synthesize manipulated images and videos to look real, are becoming popular, and the importance of objective facts is decreasing due to political polarization, ‘Post truth’. )’ was interpreted as a result reflecting the pattern. Merriam-Webster has been selecting the ‘Word of the Year’ since 2003 based on the number of views and search volume of specific words.

Merriam-Webster explained that although the search volume for Authentic has been high in the past, it has increased significantly this year as the line between real and fake has become blurred. “This year we are experiencing an integrity crisis,” said senior editor Peter Solkolowski. He explained the reason for the selection, saying, “It has become impossible to know which politician actually made this statement or which student actually wrote this paper.”

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Authentic also has the meaning of ‘being faithful to one’s personality, spirit, character, etc.’ This year, world-famous singers such as Sam Smith and Taylor Swift frequently used this word, saying they would pursue their ‘true self’ or ‘true voice.’ Tesla CEO Elon Musk also used this word in February this year, pointing out that politicians and corporate leaders around the world should pursue more sincerity. CNN also pointed out that with the advent of AI, manipulated images were easily distributed, and celebrities and famous brands wanted to prove their authenticity and sincerity.

The second most searched word this year was deepfake. As social media Twitter changed its name after Musk’s acquisition, the search volume for ‘X’ was also significant. Searches for ‘kibbutz’, a cooperative farm in Israel that suffered heavy damage during the war with Israel that broke out in a surprise attack by the Palestinian armed group Hamas on October 7 this year, also increased rapidly.

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‘Indict’ also attracted attention as former US President Donald Trump was criminally indicted four times this year. Searches for ‘EGOT’, which refers to the fact that Viola Davis, a black American female actress who won the Grammy Award this February, swept the four major awards in the entertainment industry, including the Emmy, Grammy, Academy, and Tony Awards, were also frequently searched for ‘EGOT’, which is a combination of the initials of these awards.

Source: Donga

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