There appears to already be an open-source AI voice assistant effort.

Like with the open search movement, IMO we should collaborate with the
ongoing efforts being lead by others rather than lead the efforts ourselves
or lead the efforts internally.

Agree we need to make sure that Wikipedia content is appropriately
attributed by the wider world who re-use us. Our main goal IMO needs to be
to make Wikipedia high quality / maintain its high quality.


On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 9:43 AM, Andreas Kolbe <> wrote:

> Some further thoughts on this thread while we wait for Adele to come back
> to us.
> According to Statista,[1] the worldwide market for virtual digital
> assistants is expected to grow from $1.64 billion in 2015 to $15.79 billion
> by 2021. That's a tenfold increase over six years. Digital assistants will
> reportedly outnumber people by 2021.[2]
> The Foundation has long been worried about the shift to mobile, the related
> decline in desktop page views, and its effect on donations. But doesn't the
> growing popularity of digital assistants – all of them, ironically, drawing
> to varying degrees on Wikimedia projects – represent a much greater threat
> to Wikipedia page views in the medium to long term than mobile?
> At some point, I fear, opening a browser window on your computer or phone,
> typing in a search term, and opening up a Wikipedia page will to many
> people and in many contexts seem quaint and old-fashioned. Or to be more
> precise, it won't even seem quaint and old-fashioned: people will gradually
> stop doing it, and forget they ever did it, just like it's become rare for
> most of us to get up, walk to a bookcase, and look up a term in a book,
> because Googling is faster and more convenient. What will happen to
> Wikipedia page views then?
> In my view, the decision taken many years ago to make Wikimedia content
> freely available to all re-users, even those earning billions of dollars
> from it, was a gigantic mistake. It sold contributors, who work for
> nothing, out. There should have been a (high) profit threshold above which
> re-users should have been required to pay a percentage of their profits
> back into the Wikimedia movement's pot.
> But given that that bridge was burnt long ago – irretrievably so, it seems
> – shouldn't the Foundation now, at the very least, do its utmost to make
> sure that the minimal rights volunteers retain over the content they
> contribute to their projects are respected? (Wikidata's CC-0 licence was
> another huge mis-step in my view, as it reduces Wikimedia's visibility to
> nothing, just as it is reduced to nothing in the Amazon Echo examples
> described in this thread.) Otherwise, aren't we running the risk that
> Wikipedia may well be as healthy in a couple of decades' time as DMOZ is
> today?
> And, bearing in mind the projected growth of the virtual digital assistant
> market, shouldn't the Wikimedia Foundation look at developing and marketing
> its own Wikipedia-based virtual digital assistant, to at least earn a share
> of the income its volunteers' work will generate in the years to come?
> Won't volunteers otherwise just continue to be fodder to make Apple,
> Microsoft, Google, Amazon etc. even richer than they already are?
> Andreas
> [1]
> virtual-digital-assistants-consumer-market/
> [2]
> assistants-outnumber-people-2021/
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James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

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