Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Is Wikipedia more authoritative than we think?

Naysayers who feel that Wikipedia lacks credibility may be interested in an investigation that compared the accuracy of articles in Wikipedia with those in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Interestingly, the investigators found, that for a sampling of science articles, Wikipedia actually had fewer errors. The key, of course, is getting a critical mass of credible subject matter experts to participate in the effort so that we can leverage Surowiecki's "wisdom of crowds" which is really just what fellow blogger Tom Hamilton likes to reference as the "regression to the mean," the assumption being that the mean brings us closer to the truth. See the Nature magazine article for more details.

Though I may not be an expert, I myself contributed to the Wikipedia article that we saw today in class on Boston University's Graduate School of Management by correcting a number of unfortunate typos and grammatical mistakes. While this may be more artificial artifical intelligence ala Amazon's Mechanical Turk effort than it is authorship, it does show the value of collaborative efforts.

10 comments:

N. Venkatraman said...

Thanks for the post as well as correcting the typos!

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