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Will Wikipedia be written by AI? Founder Jimmy Wales is thinking about it

Evening Standard: “By now, even those of us who live under a rock have become familiar with ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot that can find us the answer to almost every question under the sun. It seems to be able to effortlessly write reports, compose letters or even poetry — for any subject it’s asked about, it dutifully complies and does so at breakneck speed. It has even been known to declare its love for the users that interact with it. The technology, developed by OpenAI — which execs at Microsoft have found so impressive, they’ve bought a $10 billion stake in — scours the net to piece together a vast corpus of human-made literature, and draws on this to find users the answers to users’ questions it thinks are most plausible. In this respect, as one journalist put it, the software is little more than a ‘spicy autocorrect.’ But now imagine the roles are reversed. Instead of AI bots drawing on a body of human writing, imagine that in the future, most of the material we humans will read about will be written by AI. Such a move could send shockwaves through the world of publishing, newsgathering and social media, and it could be just around the corner. It’s a future that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is already spending a lot of time thinking about, as he weighs up how the world’s biggest online encyclopaedia will evolve in the years to come. “The discussion in the Wikipedia community that I’ve seen so far is…people are cautious in the sense that we’re aware that the existing models are not good enough but also intrigued because there seems like there’s a lot of possibility here,” Wales said. “I think we’re still a way away from: ‘ChatGPT, please write a Wikipedia entry about the empire state building’, but I don’t know how far away we are from that, certainly closer than I would have thought two years ago,” he said…”

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