Dictionary.com Adds AI-Related Words That ‘Marked a Tipping Point for Mainstream Awareness’

Dictionary.com sashayed into AI territory on Tuesday when it announced it is adding five related terms to its ever-growing roster of definitions. The site added a total of 566 words to its “fall new words drop” to reflect updated mainstream terms.

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The update includes newly revised words like “hallucinate” and updates to words that have grown in popularity as artificial intelligence has become a frequent and highly debated topic. In its announcement, Dictionary.com said: “This year marked a tipping point for mainstream awareness of AI, what it’s capable of, and terms related to how it works (and, in some cases, how it doesn’t).”

The dictionary describes “generative AI” as an “artificial intelligence that is designed to process prompts from users and respond with text, images, audio, or other output that is modeled on a training data set.” The dictionary also included “chatbot,” describing it as “a computer program designed to respond with conversational or informational replies to verbal or written messages from users.” It defines “LLM (large language model)” as a “type of machine learning algorithm trained on extremely large data sets of existing language and designed to generate new, naturalistic responses to prompts.”

The final addition is the expansion of “hallucinate” to include the definition of a machine learning program “producing false information that was not intended by the user.” Dictionary.com added that people should “be prepared to start hearing and reading about this with increasing frequency—including in discussions of how AI researchers still don’t fully understand how it happens.”

Dictionary.com explained in its notice that in addition to the new entries, it also included 2,256 revised definitions and 348 new definitions. It further clarified that “some of the terms in the list below have more than one definition,” adding, “We’ll highlight just the meanings most relevant to this release.”

Dictionary.com started updating its word additions more frequently and in some cases, adding more words than ever, with the site releasing more than 15,000 new words in 2020 alone.

Newly added words also include “nepo baby,” meaning “a celebrity with a parent who is also famous, especially one whose industry connections are perceived as essential to their success.”

“The words don’t stop coming, so we’re updating the dictionary more frequently than ever,” Dictionary.com said. “And not just with any words: this update includes an incredibly useful concentration of terms for naming the complexities of modern life.”