Saturday, May 10, 2014

#WMHack - This is not a hack, we can share in the sum of available knowledge

The Wikimedia Foundation wants to share in the sum of all knowledge. What we can do now is generate text on the fly based on the knowledge available in Wikidata. In that way we can share in all available knowledge we languages on all subjects.

Wikidata may provide Wikipedia of services.When Wikidata was conceived, its first line of business was to replace all the "interlanguage links of Wikipedia. As a result it knows about more subjects than any Wikipedia. It knows about for instance more US-Americans than the English language Wikipedia. An other objective is to include statements for each item so that information can be centralised in Wikidata for use in any and all projects.

When the statements have labels in a language, it is possible to provide information in that language. It could be any language even English. The current thinking is very much: "we can serve the information boxes in articles from Wikidata". What Reasonator and WD-Search prove is that those articles do not need to exist. Most members of the South African National Assembly do not have articles in any language but information could be found in any language spoken in South Africa.

We can use machine translation to translate articles but we can also use similar algorithms to generate text based on the information we have. This has been done often in our wikiverse; they are the bot generated articles. In the Reasonator we generate text about humans in English and a few other languages. It is not rocket science to improve on what is there. In essence it is exactly what we do in our localisation functionality in It follows that we have some ability for at least 280+ languages.

This is possible with current technology, the software comes with a great pedigree. It is brought to you by the same human who started with MediaWiki.  He is a scientist and the functionality is for you to enjoy in so many ways.

The point is that we can. We can share in the sum all the knowledge that is available to us. We can do more than aspire, we can share much more of the wealth that is hidden on our servers.

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