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Thread: Wikipedia Stubs Written By Bots

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    Veteran Member Under the Rose's Avatar
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    Wikipedia Stubs Written By Bots

    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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    Veteran Member NobleSavage's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware of this, but it doesn't surprise me at all. My current hobby is playing around with Python's NLTK. I find it to be a fascinating topic. There are tons of search engine spammers that generate sites with bot text and just put up ads.

    There is a humorous patent generator written in Python http://lav.io/2014/05/transform-any-...t-application/

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    Veteran Member Under the Rose's Avatar
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    Thank you for the reply, NobleSavage.

    A number of other sources are giving this fact a bit of cover.

    AnonTechie writes:
    From Popular Science:
    You might think writing 10,000 articles per day would be impossible. But not for a Swede named Sverker Johansson. He created a computer program that has written a total of 2.7 million articles, making Johansson the most prolific author, by far, on the "internet's encyclopedia." His contributions account for 8.5 percent of the articles on Wikipedia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
    But how can a bot write so many articles, and do it coherently? As Johansson--a science teacher with degrees in linguistics, civil engineering, economics and particle physics--explained to the WSJ, the bot scrapes information from various trusted sources, and then cobbles that material together, typically into a very short entry, or "stub." Many of the articles cover the taxonomy of little-known animals such as butterflies and beetles, and also small towns in the Philippines (his wife is Filipino).
    Johansson's creation, known as Lsjbot, is certainly not the only bot to write articles meant for human eyes. For example, the Associated Press just announced that it will use robots to write thousands of pieces, and other news outlets use programs to write articles, especially finance and sports stories. And on Wikipedia, half of all of the edits are made by bots.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    I tried writing a Wikipedia article using a bot, but it was completely impractical, so I went back to using my fingers.

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    What he is doing may be OK. Humans need to watch out for a bot that writes many articles on a subject that are one sided. Imagine a political bot that is for one side of politics. Write articles about all politicians. The ones that are on the bot's side get good articles, the ones that are not get bad articles. Ditto for many other subjects. There are solutions for this sort of thing.

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    Veteran Member NobleSavage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Rose View Post
    Thank you for the reply, NobleSavage.

    A number of other sources are giving this fact a bit of cover.

    AnonTechie writes:
    From Popular Science:
    You might think writing 10,000 articles per day would be impossible. But not for a Swede named Sverker Johansson. He created a computer program that has written a total of 2.7 million articles, making Johansson the most prolific author, by far, on the "internet's encyclopedia." His contributions account for 8.5 percent of the articles on Wikipedia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
    But how can a bot write so many articles, and do it coherently? As Johansson--a science teacher with degrees in linguistics, civil engineering, economics and particle physics--explained to the WSJ, the bot scrapes information from various trusted sources, and then cobbles that material together, typically into a very short entry, or "stub." Many of the articles cover the taxonomy of little-known animals such as butterflies and beetles, and also small towns in the Philippines (his wife is Filipino).
    Johansson's creation, known as Lsjbot, is certainly not the only bot to write articles meant for human eyes. For example, the Associated Press just announced that it will use robots to write thousands of pieces, and other news outlets use programs to write articles, especially finance and sports stories. And on Wikipedia, half of all of the edits are made by bots.
    I bet he had a bot doing all his homework.

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    One step closer to Skynet...

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Rose View Post
    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:



    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.
    This is further proof that Wikipedia is full of lies by the liberal intellectual elite trying to convert everyone to collectivism and turn their chilluns gay. This is yet another reason why patriotic Real AmericansTM know to use conservapedia instead. That way you get Fair and BalancedTM information instead of lies! [/conservolibertarian]

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    Veteran Member Under the Rose's Avatar
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    The remark about bots and homework strikes home with me and I surely would not want to be a teacher attempting to fairly judge essay assignments these days. It is bad enough that we no longer teach written script and now have spell check to instantly correct instead of laboriously double checking one's submission with a dictionary or thesaurus before submitting. How can an educator be sure that the work they are scoring has not simply been purchased on-line?

    As long as a student is clever enough to present work that is reasonably close to their own vocabulary and presentation style (or slightly edits a procured work), I'm not sure that they can make an easy determination. Now, a verbal presentation, they could make a better assessment of, in my opinion.

  10. Top | #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Under the Rose View Post
    The remark about bots and homework strikes home with me and I surely would not want to be a teacher attempting to fairly judge essay assignments these days. It is bad enough that we no longer teach written script and now have spell check to instantly correct instead of laboriously double checking one's submission with a dictionary or thesaurus before submitting. How can an educator be sure that the work they are scoring has not simply been purchased on-line?

    As long as a student is clever enough to present work that is reasonably close to their own vocabulary and presentation style (or slightly edits a procured work), I'm not sure that they can make an easy determination. Now, a verbal presentation, they could make a better assessment of, in my opinion.
    There are tools teachers can buy to work out if an essay is a cut and paste from the Internet.

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