Researchers developing AI that could correct outdated information on Wikipedia

Outdated Wikipedia entries could soon be automatically updated by AI.
·1 min read

On Wednesday, MIT News reported that scientists have created an automated text-generating tool powered by artificial intelligence that can update outdated sentences like a human.

Instead of relying on volunteers to correct outdated information on Wikipedia, the reference site could soon use a text-generating system "that pinpoints and replaces specific information in relevant Wikipedia sentences, while keeping the language similar to how humans write and edit."

According to a paper by MIT researchers, the AI tool would still rely on humans to input information. However, they would not need to do so in a formalized or structured fashion; there would be no need be concerned with style or grammar. The model would then search Wikipedia to locate the sentence with outdated information, and rewrite it with human-like construction.

The system does this by comparing the information in the outdated sentence with the new text and then deleting contradictory facts. By modifying only certain parts of a sentence instead of the whole thing, the original style and grammar of the sentence can be retained.

In the future, a more advanced system could simply reference the internet to correct Wikipedia information rather than waiting for human editors to input new information. Furthermore, it could potentially be used by fact-checking websites to combat fake news.

Such a system would reduce the volunteer workforce updating the platform from several hundred to only a handfull. Though implementation of this tool on Wikipedia is still a bit off in the future, it signals that a world in which technology can write as well as humans may be right around the corner.