AI can automatically rewrite outdated text in Wikipedia articles


It’s good to be skeptical of Wikipedia articles for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the possibility of outdated info — human editors can only do so much. And while there are bots that can edit Wikipedia, they’re usually limited to updated canned templates or fighting vandalism. MIT might have a more useful (not to mention more elegant) solution. Its researchers have developed an AI system that automatically rewrites outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles while maintaining a human tone. It won’t look out of line in a carefully crafted paragraph, then.

The machine learning-based system is trained to recognize the differences between a Wikipedia article sentence and a claim sentence with updated facts. If it sees any contradictions between the two sentences, it uses a “neutrality masker” to pinpoint both the contradictory words that need deleting and the ones it absolutely has to keep. After that, an encoder-decoder framework determines how to rewrite the Wikipedia sentence using simplified representations of both that sentence and the new claim.

The system can also be used to supplement datasets meant to train fake news detectors, potentially reducing bias and improving accuracy.

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Artificial intelligence can now help write Wikipedia pages for overlooked scientists


The tech could be used to increase the representation of women scientists on Wikipedia.

Quicksilver discovers scientists who should have Wikipedia articles about them and writes a first draft.

Plenty of prominent scientists have Wikipedia pages. But while checking to see if someone specific has a Wikipedia page is a quick Google search away, figuring out who should be on Wikipedia but isn’t—and then writing an entry for him or her—is much trickier.

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Wikipedia bots act more like humans than expected

Benevolent bots

‘Benevolent bots’ or software robots designed to improve articles on Wikipedia sometimes have online ‘fights’ over content that can continue for years, say scientists who warn that artificial intelligence systems may behave more like humans than expected.

Editing bots on Wikipedia undo vandalism, enforce bans, check spelling, create links and import content automatically, whereas other bots (which are non-editing) can mine data, identify data or identify copyright infringements.

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500 million unique visitors access Wikipedia and other sites owned by the Wikimedia Foundation every month

Unique visitors across the network of sites increased to 517 million last month.

Wikipedia and other websites owned by the Wikimedia Foundation, including Wikibooks,Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons  now get more than 500 million unique visitors every month.




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The invisible truth about Wikipedia

Shipwreck articles

Geotagging – every Wikipedia entry has this optional feature that we take for granted.  An entry on the Lincoln Memorial will be linked to its specific latitude and longitude in Washington D.C. On any individual post, this may or may not be a useful thing. But what about looking at these locations en masse?



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Wikipedia to go dark on Wednesday, Google to join protest against SOPA

wikipedia blackout

“[SOPA and its Senate counterpart Protect IP] allow people with lots of money, and lots of lawyers to take down Internet sites they don’t like”

Wednesday will be a day against an anti-piracy bill as the world’s biggest websites call for a day of dramatic action.  They fear the legislation will reshape the Internet as we now know it.

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Sergey Brin donates half a million dollars to Wikipedia


Wikipedia just got a big financial shot in the arm.

We’re all used to hearing of über-rich gazillionaires donating to charitable causes like finding cures for diseases and feeding hungry children in Africa. But what about websites? Now you can say that you’ve heard that too, as Google co-founder Sergey Brin has forked over $500,000 to Wikipedia.

The donation is actually from Brin’s charity, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Anne Wojcicki. Before these big bucks were sent to the Wikimedia Foundation (the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia), the couple had donated to Michael J. Fox’s fund for finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease…

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