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Thread: Wikipedia Stubs Written By Bots

  1. #1 Wikipedia Stubs Written By Bots 
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Wikipedia is used by many people as a first resource when doing a quick search on a topic of interest, largely because it also often provides links to a myriad of other inputs. I just read a piece by ZME Science which makes the following remarks:

    Sverker Johansson could encompass the definition of prolific. The 53-year-old Swede has edited so far 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia, or 8.5% of the entire collection. But there’s a catch – he did this with the help of a bot he wrote. Wait, you thought all Wikipedia articles are written by humans?
    Read more at This author edits 10,000 Wikipedia entries a day
    Lsjbot’s entries are categorized by Wikipedia as stubs – pages that contain only the most important, basic bits of information. This is why his bot works so well for animal species or towns, where it can make sense to automatize the process. In fact, if Wikipedia has a chance of reaching its goal of encompassing the sum of the whole human knowledge, it needs bots. It needs billions of entries, and this is no task a community of humans can achieve alone, not even one as active and large as Wikipedia.
    Read more at This author edits 10,000 Wikipedia entries a day
    http://www.zmescience.com/research/w...nce%29#!bf3Iwr

    This is very interesting to me and explains why many of the pages contain only very basic content, presented in a similar format. I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.


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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuotedArticle
    automatize the process.
    WTF is wrong with the word "automate"?


    Quote Originally Posted by scheherezade
    I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.
    I wasn't aware of it, and now I'm less trusting of Wiki in general.
    Don't trust the little buggers.
    Anything a human can screw up a Bot can screw up far "better".
    For "donkey work", yeah.
    Still needs human input/ oversight to check the output though.

    This is, despite what some may think, not a Luddite attitude: I've spent my whole working life with automation of one form or another, even designed (and therefore "caused" to have built) automated machinery/ equipment.
    I KNOW how it can f*ck up and, believe me, "trusted" automation f*cks up far worse simply because it does things so much faster - by the time you realise it's not as perfect as it said in the manual you tend to have an overflow of errors, rather than "Oh shit those last two calculations were wrong".

    Then again, even WITH a human (presumably) author, errors can happen "while the rest are written in two version of Filipino" (from the linked article. Uh "two version"?

    I'm not in favour of stubs at all.
    We have an entry but there's bugger all information to it.
    Er, right.
    I'd rather find nothing when doing a search than come across such a stub.
    If it can't tell me anything about what I'm looking for why bother giving me hope? 1
    (It could, I suppose, be argued that stubs are "placeholders" - something marking a future "genuine" entry, but if that's the case I'd rather they were hidden).

    1 I've lost count of the number of times I've (thought I) found an article on Wiki, only to open the page and discover it's a stub: less information that I could have worked out for myself in the time it took to get there. I'd rather know beforehand "info not available" so I can use my time/ attention in other, more fruitful directions.


    Last edited by Dywyddyr; July 16th, 2014 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Sorry Sche!
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  4. #3  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    automatize the process.
    WTF is wrong with the word "automate"?
    Why are you taking the word out of the context it was posted in? It is not appropriate for me to change the wording of material I quote or for another to give the impression that I wrote the word.

    Here is the originally paragraph I posted. Best to quote an entire paragraph than to take pieces out of context.
    Lsjbot’s entries are categorized by Wikipedia as stubs – pages that contain only the most important, basic bits of information. This is why his bot works so well for animal species or towns, where it can make sense to automatize the process. In fact, if Wikipedia has a chance of reaching its goal of encompassing the sum of the whole human knowledge, it needs bots. It needs billions of entries, and this is no task a community of humans can achieve alone, not even one as active and large as Wikipedia.
    Read more at This author edits 10,000 Wikipedia entries a day
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Why are you taking the word out of the context it was posted in?
    I didn't take it out of context, I just had a whinge.

    or for another to give the impression that I wrote the word.
    My apologies.
    I knew what I was (supposed to be) quoting and didn't actually notice how it looked after I'd finished.
    It wasn't my intention at all to give the impression that it was your choice of wording.
    In fact I'll go back and correct it.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  6. #5  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Thank you Dywyddyr.

    You have very exacting standards and so I but hold you to them.
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  7. #6  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I but hold you to them.
    I appreciate that, immensely.
    And now I won't sleep tonight because I know I've failed to achieve the precision I crave.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  8. #7  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I but hold you to them.
    I appreciate that, immensely.
    And now I won't sleep tonight because I know I've failed to achieve the precision I crave.
    I quite understand. That craving for precision is a very vicious monkey to carry upon one's back.

    "He who rides a tiger can never dismount."

    Perhaps the judgement that we bring to bear upon ourselves is a tiger of our own creation?
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  9. #8  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    I quite understand. That craving for precision is a very vicious monkey to carry upon one's back.
    Under the right circumstances it's a positive "godsend".
    Under any other circumstances it's a complete b*tch.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  10. #9  
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    >> I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.

    If it's a choice between no info, and a bot stub, the bot stub wins. I win.
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  11. #10  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon Eight View Post
    >> I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.

    If it's a choice between no info, and a bot stub, the bot stub wins. I win.
    I tend to feel the same, especially where it is simply statistical or classification data which can be useful as a baseline resource. I think I would be worried when 'bots start writing 'opinion pieces'.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon Eight View Post
    >> I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.

    If it's a choice between no info, and a bot stub, the bot stub wins. I win.
    I tend to feel the same, especially where it is simply statistical or classification data which can be useful as a baseline resource. I think I would be worried when 'bots start writing 'opinion pieces'.
    And that would be the time to find John connor
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  13. #12  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozarc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Echelon Eight View Post
    >> I was wondering how many of you were already aware of this and what your thoughts and comments are regarding the use of Bots as research assistants and authors.

    If it's a choice between no info, and a bot stub, the bot stub wins. I win.
    I tend to feel the same, especially where it is simply statistical or classification data which can be useful as a baseline resource. I think I would be worried when 'bots start writing 'opinion pieces'.
    And that would be the time to find John connor
    I had to look up the John Connor reference as I have not seen any of the movies. Just in case anyone else is unaware of this reference, I post a link to a character biography with the warning that it may contain spoilers for those planning to watch the films.

    John Connor (Character) - Biography
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  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    ...
    I had to look up the John Connor reference as I have not seen any of the movies. Just in case anyone else is unaware of this reference, I post a link to a character biography with the warning that it may contain spoilers for those planning to watch the films.

    John Connor (Character) - Biography
    Kudos!
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