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Automating Wikimedia: Open Knowledge, Linked Data and Search

4 May 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm AEST

Person's hand typing on laptop with people standing in the background

The power of search engines has become further entrenched in the wake of the current move to restructure the Web according to the logics of ‘linked data’ and the ‘semantic Web’. With the goal of sharing information according to structured formats that computers (rather than humans) can easily process and analyse, linked data engineers are developing algorithms that abstract information from fact sharing websites like Wikipedia into short, uniform statements that can be more efficiently shared, compared and analysed. Yet it is often unclear when viewing structured information on search results where the information is coming from – some is from Wikimedia but not all – and whether it is credible. At the same time the Wikimedia Foundation has launched Wikimedia Enterprise a new cross-departmental service of the Wikimedia Foundation available via which aims to provide commercial services for ‘organizations that want to repurpose Wikimedia content in other contexts, providing data services at a large scale’. What are the implications of these recent trends for verifiable search results, fact checking and for the free knowledge movement?


Heather Ford

Assoc Prof Heather Ford
Assoc Prof Heather Ford is Head of Discipline for Digital and Social Media in the School of Communications at UTS. She has a background working for global technology corporations and non-profits in the US, UK, South Africa and Kenya. Her research focuses on the social implications of media technologies and the ways in which they might be better designed to prevent misinformation, social exclusion, and algorithmic bias.

Liam Wyatt

Liam Wyatt
Liam Wyatt is the Senior Program Manager at the Wikimedia Foundation and has been closely involved with the development of Wikimedia Enterprise. Liam was founder of “GLAM-Wiki” – the intersection of the cultural sector and the Wikimedia movement – and was the world’s first Wikipedian in Residence in 2010.

ADM+S Chief Investigator Mark Sanderson

Prof Mark Sanderson
Prof Mark Sanderson is Dean for Research and Innovation at RMIT University for the Schools of Engineering and of Computing Technologies in the STEM College. He is also a Professor of Information Retrieval (IR). Mark’s research focuses on information retrieval (IR) (e.g. web search engines). He has published on topics such as cross language IR (CLIR), summarization, human interaction and search, image retrieval by captions, word sense ambiguity. His speciality area of research is in the evaluation of searching systems.

Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas
Prof Julian Thomas is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, and a Distinguished Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. He has written widely about digital inclusion, automation and other topics relating to the pasts and futures of new communications and computing technologies.

Amanda Lawrence

Dr Amanda Lawrence
Dr Amanda Lawrence is an Australian researcher and librarian specialising in open knowledge, research communication and research infrastructure for policy and practice. She is currently Research Fellow, Open Knowledge Systems at RMIT University and Wikimedian in Residence at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). Amanda is a member of the Wikimedia Australia chapter and currently Secretary for Wikimedia Australia Committee.


4 May 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm AEST