When I read, “AI is tearing Wikipedia apart“, I immediately recalled all the personal issues I had with the never-to-return-because-I-said-so page on myself. It’s long and involved, but the short story is about dealing with some pretty different ways we all think of Wikipedia, and the different sects of volunteers involved. Yes, there are sects, and I had a run-in with the deletionist sect because of a profile I didn’t create, but some journalist had.
It’s not pretty when you let loose people organizing as much information on a volunteer basis. When Jimmy Wales and I shared the same geography, we planned to get coffee sometime and we were both too busy to do it. I mentioned this to him, and he rightly said something to the effect that it’s for them to deal with. It was personal for me (how can a Wikipedia page not be so?), and what I did influence were some new rules on dealing with biographies of living people.
But yes, Wikipedia using a large language model? The biases… well, that’s just a headache to discuss. I posted the article on my personal Facebook page, where I have a few friends who are editors at Wikipedia, and they didn’t bite. One person did, however, point out that Vice.com, the publisher’s of that article, is headed for bankruptcy.
It looks like the normalization of Web 2.0 coinciding with the new disruption of large language models reminds me of dominos toppling onto each other. That’s an interesting, and peculiar twist.
An ebb of disruption, a new wave of disruption. Much of tech isn’t about tech.
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