2023:Program/Submissions/In the sphere of general knowledge: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia and the new apparatus - QVW9SJ

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Title: In the sphere of general knowledge: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia and the new apparatus


Heikki Kastemaa, Kulttuurinavigaattori

I wrote my first Wikipedia article in December 2005. I mostly contribute to the Finnish language Wikipedia. By education I am an art teacher and have been teaching art and cultural subjects in many places, mostly colleges and universities. I have experience in education planning. My other job has been a freelance journalist. I am an art critic and have concentrated in cultural journalism and art criticism. I am a member of The Finnish Critics' Association and AICA. I was nominated to the board of association Wikimedia Suomi in 2015, which is the Wikimedia chapter in Finland. I have been the president of Wikimedia Finland between 2016-2018. I live in Helsinki, Finland. I am again on board of Wikimedia Finland and its vice-president from 2023. Many of my Wikipedia contributions have focused to different fields of art and culture, but in recent years I have edited articles in a wider scope.

Pretalx link

Etherpad link


Start time:

End time:

Type: Lecture

Track: Equity, Inclusion, and Community Health

Submission state: submitted

Duration: 30 minutes

Do not record: false

Presentation language: en

Abstract & description[edit source]

Abstract[edit source]

In European cultural sphere, three traditional concepts of general knowledge are Bildung, General knowledge, and Common Sense, all related to encyclopedic endeavor. However, the encyclopedic approach faces challenges from new apparatus like algorithms, AI, and responsive systems like ChatGPT. The relationship between these systems and scientific/encyclopedic criteria, the texts they produce, and how to analyze/criticize them raise important questions for Wikipedians to consider.

Description[edit source]

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE TV talk show on general knowledge sparked my interest in the role of encyclopedias in disseminating information. In his interview, Finnish Wikipedian Miku Malinen highlighted how odd it is that a small group of volunteers, including him among the 100 most active editors, is responsible for shaping and delivering general knowledge to the Finnish population.

The definition of encyclopedia reaches from the historic Encyclopédie by Diderot to Wikipedia. Published in more than 300 languages, Wikipedia is about the modern-day democratization of knowledge. Just like general knowledge, it means many things in different countries and within a country, different things to different people.

There are traces of these encyclopedic definitions in statements of “new apparatus” - ChatGPT- creators. Technology introduces a new standard for approaching knowledge, offering engaging dialog communication with understandable and concise language. Like Wikipedia, its creators aim to bring human knowledge to people, focusing on its usefulness and value. However, it is essential to be cautious, as mistakes and biases of the apparatus are challenging to detect. I suggest that Wikipedia should not use large language models as a credible source.

If time remains I will show some examples of text analysis. Discussion.

This text has been copyedited using ChatGPT GPT-4, Grammarly and Google translate.

Further details[edit source]

Qn. How does your session relate to the event themes: Diversity, Collaboration Future?

General knowledge has been discussed traditionally in connection of diversity of education, but it can be related to Wikipedia too. What I call here "new apparatus" will be one of the common future approaches to knowledge. Wikipedians and Wikimedians should be able to apprehend, analyze and use these, where to use and not to use them.

Qn. What is the experience level needed for the audience for your session?

Everyone can participate in this session

Qn. What is the most appropriate format for this session?

  • Tick Onsite in Singapore
  • Empty Remote online participation, livestreamed
  • Empty Remote from a satellite event
  • Empty Hybrid with some participants in Singapore and others dialing in remotely
  • Empty Pre-recorded and available on demand