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Wikipedia Releases Artificially Intelligent 'X-RAY SPECS' Tool to detect Fake and Damaging Edits


Wikipedia is an incredibly useful tool, but since anyone can edit and change almost any article, it's often had to deal with accusations of inaccuracy.

These problems could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new 'articifically intelligent' robot that can detect bad or malicious edits and alert Wikipedia's human editors so they can take action.

The new tool is called the Objective Revision Evaluation Services (ORES), and Wikipedia says it functions like a pair of 'X-ray specs' - combing through the edits made on the site and detecting which ones are low quality based on the language used and the context in which the edits are made.

10 edits are made on Wikipedia every second - even though the site has thousands of volunteer editors, there's no way they can properly keep up with the torrent.

The bot can flag up potentially damaging edits, allowing humans to make the decision on whether to keep them or not.

As Wikipedia says: "By combining open data and open source machine learning algorithms, our goal is to make quality control in Wikipedia more transparent, auditable, and easy to experiment with."

ORES has been in the testing stages for a few months, and it's already seen success - now, Wikipedia is opening it up to everyone.

Wikipedia already has automated tools to keep track of potentially damaging edits, but they haven't been that smart - they tend to reject all changes made by new editors, making it much harder for newcomers to get involved in Wikipedia's community.

By taking more factors into account, Wikipedia hopes ORES will be a more accurate watchdog and help the site flourish, as it tries to organise all the world's information in one place.

Wikipedia has more than 5 million English articles, an amazing achievement - but its more inaccurate edits often make the headlines.

More controversial articles, about divisive figures and topics like George W Bush, the Catholic Church and global warming are amongst the most-edited articles on the site, and are sometimes subject to vandalism and malicious editing.

More recently, one Australian music fan managed to blag his way backstage at a Peking Duk gig after editing the band's Wikipedia page to show that he was one of the bandmates' family members.

ORES could make Wikipedia more accurate, but it might make it harder to sneak into gigs.

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