Svenker Johansson, a Swedish science teacher, has become one of the most prolific editors on Wikipedia since it launched. Were it not for Johansson, Wikipedia, the go-to online encyclopaedia, would have three million less articles.
However, while Johansson did begin these edits by hand, his robot Lsjbot deserves a lot of the credit. Well, most of the credit. “At first, around 2007, I started editing Wikipedia ‘by hand’, the same way as everybody else; then, in 2011, I started editing by bot,” Johansson said, in a recent interview with The Guardian.
“At first, around 2007, I started editing Wikipedia ‘by hand’, the same way as everybody else; then, in 2011, I started editing by bot”
Lsjbot has created and updated millions of Wikipedia articles to date. In fact were it not for Johansson's robot, the Swedish language version of Wikipedia would hardly have become the eight site in the world to hit one million articles.
Lsjbot currently focusses on creating articles about species of plants and animals.Of course there are limits to what a robot can produce, and Johansson says that “anything requiring real creativity or real language understanding requires a human mind directly at the keyboard.”
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