• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

Wikipedia Stubs Written By Bots

Under the Rose

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,301
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
Basic Beliefs
Natural Cycles
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.
 

Under the Rose

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,301
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
Basic Beliefs
Natural Cycles
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.

 

rjh01

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
197
Location
Australia
Basic Beliefs
Accept others values.
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.
 

NobleSavage

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
3,079
Location
127.0.0.1
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
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. :)
 

Underseer

Contributor
Joined
May 30, 2003
Messages
11,413
Location
Chicago suburbs
Basic Beliefs
atheism, resistentialism
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]
 

Under the Rose

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,301
Location
Whitehorse, Yukon
Basic Beliefs
Natural Cycles
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. :thinking: Now, a verbal presentation, they could make a better assessment of, in my opinion.
 

rjh01

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
197
Location
Australia
Basic Beliefs
Accept others values.
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. :thinking: 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.
 

Lugubert

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
84
Location
Sweden
Basic Beliefs
None
There are tools teachers can buy to work out if an essay is a cut and paste from the Internet.

Some universities use similar things on final papers. Will probably catch the lazy students, but I'm not sure that they will discover essays that change the order of arguments, manipulate the word order, and excel in using synonyms. Lets assume that I find a nice essay in English (or whatever language) that would suit my BA/MA/even PhD Thesis. I translate it into Swedish in a way that's immensely more colloquial that the presumably dry original academic language, and juggle the details as of above. I'll bet you some useful money that I won't be caught by software. A well read professor might spot it.
 

NobleSavage

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2003
Messages
3,079
Location
127.0.0.1
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
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. :thinking: 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.

There are tons of these tools on line for free. Any smart cheater would just run his plagiarized content through a few checkers and and make changes until clear.

http://www.plagscan.com/seesources/analyse.php
 

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
26,805
Location
The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
Gender
He/Him
Basic Beliefs
Strong Atheist
There are tools teachers can buy to work out if an essay is a cut and paste from the Internet.

There are tons of these tools on line for free. Any smart cheater would just run his plagiarized content through a few checkers and and make changes until clear.

http://www.plagscan.com/seesources/analyse.php

Given that a large majority of people use a Batchelor's degree as a kind of generic indicator of intelligence, rather than using it in the specific field to which it relates, there is an argument to be made that a person who is a sufficiently skilled cheat deserves a degree anyway.

Given the number of middle managers who have a degree, but appear to be incompetent nonetheless, there is an argument to be made that this is already happening with some regularity. ;)
 
Top Bottom