Wikipedia has used its first “artificially intelligent” editor to flush out suspicious alterations made to the online encyclopedia by politicians, companies and powerful people.
The new AI editor has been developed to help Wikipedia’s dwindling ranks of human editors root out suspicious edits among the 500,000 that are made every day.
The objective revision evaluation service, or ORES, directs human editors to what it detects as “damaging” changes to Wikipedia entries. The human editors can assess the amendment and take action, which might involve banning the person who made it.
More than 45 million edits have been processed by ORES, which works in 14 languages.
In October, founder Jimmy Wales said Wikipedia would boost its ranks of volunteer editors to fight back against spin. He said he was “not going to let Wikipedia become a PR platform” as it would be “against all of our values”.
Tens of thousands of volunteers edit Wikipedia, which has more than tripled to 4.5 million pages in the past eight years.
However, over that period, the number of active editors on the English version has fallen from a peak of 55,000 to about 30,000.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation that oversees Wikipedia, is trying to attract new volunteers by making the editing process easier.
The foundation said: “ORES functions like a pair of X-ray specs ... these specs actually work to highlight potentially damaging edits for editors.
This allows editors to triage them from the torrent of new edits.”
By James Dean
With many thanks to The Australian