The hot word of 2023 can only be this

2023 is coming to an end. If it were you, what word would you use to sum it up?

Language is a tool for human communication and expression. The most representative words every year are like concise and concise clues, reflecting social trends and reflecting common human emotions.

As usual, major dictionaries such as Cambridge, Oxford, Webster's, and Collins have selected their own words of the year. As expected, AI's presence is as high as ever.

From several words of the year, we can see how humans have been changed by AI this year.

Honor belongs to artificial intelligence

— Word of the Year: #AI

Among the major authoritative dictionaries, Collins Dictionary is the most direct, selecting "AI" as the word of the year for 2023.

This year, the use of the term AI has increased fourfold, and it is defined as "the simulation of human thinking functions through computer programs."

Collins Dictionary believes that this definition points to our deepest worries: Can AI really become like humans? If so, what does it mean for humans?

The above issues are indeed important. They were the trigger for the AI ​​godfather to resign from Google. They were the reasons for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who signed a petition to suspend AI development. They were also the original intention of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya to promote "super alignment." AI will usher in a new era of prosperity, but its harm must first be prevented.

However, most people have no say in the development of AI. The only option is to use it and then gradually become inseparable from it.

Greg Brockman, President of OpenAI, recently shared an interesting question on Reddit: What problems in life have you used GPT-4 to solve that you could not solve on your own?

One of our articles sorts out the answers . Writing emails, revising resumes, improving mental health, learning introductory knowledge, inspiring creative ideas…AI is indeed affecting and changing the work and lives of some ordinary people.

In 1966, MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum released ELIZA (named after the character in Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion), the first program to allow human-like conversations between humans and machines.

Looking at it from today's perspective, it seems very crude. It just looks for keywords in users' questions, extracts them and gives feedback.

Weizenbaum's original intention was to show how superficially computers understand human language, but to his surprise, people were still fascinated by ELIZA, locking themselves in rooms for hours just to whisper to it. Later, the anthropomorphic attachment to computer programs became known as the ELIZA effect.

Today, the ELIZA effect is accelerating. In fact, AI is already everywhere, defeating Go champions, promoting autonomous driving, and recommending playlists of interest, but it is either far away from life, or it exists like air but is not perceived by us.

Most people have never guessed that one day at the end of 2022, AI will start from a conversation interface and be closely related to our personal lives.

Whether it’s right or wrong, AI can answer anything. At the same time, its usage scenarios are becoming more and more daily. In September, ChatGPT launched voice and image functions, which can see, listen and speak. The five senses are how humans interact with the world, and they are also becoming the way we interact with AI.

Sam Altman once said in an interview that when people first use ChatGPT, it may feel more like a living thing than a tool, but eventually they get used to it and see its limitations.

Our interaction with AI is not only about knowledge, but also dives into the deep waters of emotion.

In the past year, related products have emerged one after another, including Replika, an AI companion, Pi, a chatbot with outstanding emotional intelligence, Meta's more than 20 AI characters based on celebrities, and CarynAI, an AI girlfriend who plays a real-life version of "Her"…

They have an intimate attitude. In addition to text, they can also have voice conversations and even video chats, providing unforgettable friendships and romantic relationships and meeting social needs that have never been met in reality.

As Kevin Roose, a writer for the New York Times who was once expressed affectionately by Bing Chat, said:

I feel an ominous feeling that AI has crossed a threshold and the world will never be the same.

reality and illusion

——Word of the Year: #Hallucinate, #Authentic, #Deepfake

However, Bing Chat does not take human confessions seriously. This kind of AI-generated false information is called "illusion" in technical terms. Microsoft CEO Nadella even felt that the outside world was making a fuss: "We did not expect that someone would conduct a Jungian analysis within 100 hours of release."

"Illusion" for Google is a scandal that happens in full view of the public. In February, Bard, a chatbot that competed against ChatGPT, made factual errors about the Webb Telescope during a demonstration, causing Google to lose more than $100 billion in market value.

Until now, chatbots still frequently produce "hallucinations." In November, Vectara, a startup founded by former Google employees, studied the probability of hallucinations in chatbots from various giants. The lowest was 3%, while others were 5% and 8%, and the highest was even 27%.

Because of the special meaning of this word to generative AI, Hallucinate was selected as the 2023 word of the year by Cambridge Dictionary.

"Hallucinate" originally refers to the fact that humans seem to feel things that do not exist due to illness or taking medicine. Now it has an additional meaning – "When AI hallucinates, it will produce wrong information."

Cambridge Dictionary believes that although generative AI is a powerful tool, its "illusion" reminds us to pay attention to the dangers of false information, use critical thinking to interact with it safely and effectively, and human expertise is more important than ever. .

Just antonyms with Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary's word of the year is Authentic (real, original) . This adjective can modify food, art, cultural experience and even someone's character, emphasizing that there is no fiction or pretense.

Deepfake is also among the best in the 2023 data of Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and can be regarded as two sides of the same coin as "Authentic".

The words of the year from Cambridge and Webster are very suitable to be read as a combined volume. In the past year, "reality" and "illusion" have been at war, because AI has appeared in text, pictures, songs, videos and other content.

MidJourney had the Pope dress up in a Balenciaga-style down jacket, simulated earthquake and tsunami events, and even fabricated moon landing b-roll photos. HeyGen has Taylor Swift speaking authentic Chinese lip-synced. SoVITS taught "Stefanie Sun" to sing "Hair Like Snow", "The Hard-to-Recite Sutra" and "Love in B.C."…

Some people passed by to watch the fun, while others were concerned about the world. After all, in most cases, porn, politics, and rumors always come first. In the past, we often said that there is no truth without pictures, but in the near future, even if there are pictures, it is not the truth, and if there is a video, it may not be the truth either.

If it breaks away from the black and white of reality and illusion, AI is also injecting fresh blood into creation.

Recently, outrageous jokes augmented by AI have become popular on Douyin, and their humor far exceeds human imagination. I also experienced it, allowing Gao Qiqiang, a fishmonger from Jinghai, to instantly travel to Africa to develop his business.

In fact, the principle behind it is not new. As early as August last year, OpenAI's DALL·E used the "Outpainting" function to expand the portrait "Girl with a Pearl Earring". AI generated a harmonious room for the lonely character.

The joke is not nonsense, and the generation is not random fabrication. AI considers the visual elements of the original image (including shadows, reflections, and textures) before drawing. However, the level of many image expansion tools is not so stable.

In addition to Vincent diagram tools, Vincent videos bring a more intuitive impact to our senses.

Runway, the leader in AI video generation, has recently launched the "Motion Brush", which can make static images move with a gentle brush on any position.

Runway's new rival Pika is not to be outdone. It can not only generate videos directly from text prompts, but also modify specific areas and add shooting techniques, which means a lot of post-production work can be completed with one click.

These are not "real" creations, like reattaching the severed arms of the goddess Venus, showing another possibility of art.

Perhaps AI is still far away from the creation of long films, but its potential in the field of short videos can be estimated. Everyone can become their own director, screenwriter and editor.

However, when we see a certain picture or a certain video, it is best not to assume that they are real.

Human creation and AI creation

— Word of the Year: #prompt

In fact, fake pictures, fake voices, and fake videos have existed for a long time, and there have been countless discussions and disputes in the past. However, it is only today that they have become a real problem because the methods of creation are changing.

"Chatting" with AI is also creating. The content we input is the "prompt word", and its quality directly affects the quality of the content generated by AI.

Prompt words are gradually being regarded as human creations that can be distinguished, and even high-paying positions such as "prompt word engineer" have been derived.

This year's word of the year, prompt (prompt word) was on the list. Although it failed to become the champion of Oxford Dictionary, it made it to the semi-finals of the finals. Oxford Dictionaries found that the use of prompt has increased significantly, but before 2022, it rarely even appeared in the corpus.

Are works "chatted" with AI counted as human creations?

At the end of November, the first trial of the first case of copyright infringement of AI-generated images came to an end, and a possible answer was given. The basis of the judgment was related to the prompt words.

The plaintiff is a Xiaohongshu user who used AI tools to generate pictures. The defendant is a Baijiahao account that erased the watermarks and moved the above pictures. The core of the judgment is that it is inappropriate for the defendant to move the pictures on his own, but the plaintiff’s AI-generated pictures can be subject to Does copyright protection allow creators to protect their rights?

In this case, the authorship and originality of the AI-generated work were recognized because of “intellectual input.”

Although the plaintiff did not draw, he designed prompt words and set parameters to reflect his own personalized expression. At the same time, AI does not have free will and is not a legal subject. There is no determination between two subjects who is the creator. The problem.

Essentially, the judge in this case believed that AI is a tool, and when humans use AI to generate images, they are creating and enjoying copyright.

However, when humans use AI to create works, there is still no consensus on who is the subject and whether the works enjoy copyright.

The U.S. Copyright Office’s view is different from this ruling. In a case in February, although the artist set the prompt word, the U.S. Copyright Office held that AI is not controllable like tools such as cameras, and the input of the artist and the output of the AI ​​are far apart, so the images generated by the AI ​​cannot be considered human. Creation cannot obtain copyright protection.

▲ Comics using AI to generate pictures.

The controversy of opinions does not affect the fact that in the past, creativity mainly came from humans, whether it was the brain, conversations, books or the Internet. Now we have outsourced part of the process to AI and reached an unknown cooperative relationship with it, and the results are uncontrollable.

Aifaner previously interviewed Xiao Xu, an illustrator who has been in the industry for more than five years. AI has been integrated into her workflow. Midjourney is one of the main tools, which is fast and has good effects. At the same time, there is still a probabilistic question about whether AI’s results are good or bad.

After considering the advantages and disadvantages, Xiao Xu's method of using AI is very flexible. He can use it to generate the entire picture, or he can use it to generate the background, and then upload the material or draw it himself, or use it with other AI tools.

Whether AI can draw better than humans in the future and whether it can sign its works is something that individuals cannot decide. But at least, becoming a pragmatist and not rejecting the learning of new technologies may help you better face the impact of the unknown.

Overall, 2023 is the year when we begin to explore how to coexist with AI. AI affects everything, including language, as Cambridge Dictionary says:

New technologies bring new languages.

In addition to selecting the word of the year, Cambridge Dictionary also added many new AI-related definitions, including large language model (LLM), generative AI (GenAI) and GPT. Some existing words have also adopted additional meanings related to AI this year.

At the same time, Cambridge Dictionary is also launching a vote to consider whether to add more AI-related words to the dictionary.

Language is the carrier of thinking. In the science fiction movie "Arrival", humans sent linguists to try to communicate with alien creatures. In reality, humans and AI are already using natural language to communicate, but there are also some new words appearing, or old ones. vocabulary has taken on a new meaning.

Funny puns emerge. Generative AI such as ChatGPT can not only speak human-like language, but also profoundly affects our use of language.

By a strange coincidence, on the same day that Merriam-Webster Dictionary announced “real” as the word of the year, a special article in The New Yorker talked about Nvidia’s drive for the AI ​​revolution. 2023 is about to pass, and we will usher in a new year that may be difficult to describe in words.

It is as sharp as autumn frost and can ward off evil disasters. Work email: [email protected]

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