Russian language institute reveals ‘word of 2023’


Researchers say ‘neural network’ has dominated search engine queries and gained prominence in the press and on social media

The Russian Language Pushkin Institute has ruled ‘neutral network’ as its word of 2023 after analyzing search engine data, media reports, and social media trends. The researchers said artificial intelligence has stepped out of tech communities and captured the broader public’s attention.

Some words appearing on the shortlist were also tech-related and included the likes of ‘ChatGPT’ and ‘artificial intelligence.’ Also appearing were ‘educator’ and ‘volunteer.’

Last year, the institute chose ‘legacy’ as the word of the year after 2022 was declared the ‘Year of the Cultural Heritage of the Peoples of Russia.’

In 2023, the increased interest in technology has been reflected in the fields of education, art, business, and law. They noted that practically anyone can now become acquainted with various artificial neural networks.

The term neural network is inspired by the human brain and how our biological neurons send signals to each other. In the tech realm, an artificial neural network is a complex learning and processing system that does the same thing.

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The institute said its selection process was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, they compiled a list of ‘candidate’ words; in the second, they used analytics tools, including Wordstat, Google Trends, and Medialogiya, to assess the frequency of their use.

According to the data, the phrase ‘neural networks’ has been searched four million times in the past month alone. A spike was registered in late 2022 when the ChatGPT bot became publicly available. The researchers said the spike leveled off in February 2022, but searches have remained consistently high ever since.

Russia’s Medialogiya media-monitoring system has recorded more than 100,000 mentions of the word in social media posts and press publications since the start of the year, representing a tripling of its use over that period.

Late last month, Merriam-Webster, the oldest dictionary publisher in the United States, chose ‘authentic’ as the English word of the year. It explained that with the advent of artificial intelligence, the spread of ‘deepfake’ technology, and disinformation, people have increasingly searched for ‘real’ content.

The year 2023 sparked a kind of “crisis on authenticity,” Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski, told the Associated Press, saying that when it is questioned, people “value it even more.”

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