Submissions:2023/Wikipedia for Ethical Artificial Intelligence in Africa

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WikiConference North America 2023 unfortunately could not accommodate this submission in its program this year.


Wikipedia for Ethical Artificial Intelligence in Africa


Education, Equity / Inclusion / Community Health, Languages, Research / Science / Medicine, Technology

Type of session:



Ethical conduct of artificial intelligence (AI) is of pressing importance.[ “Atlas of AI: Power, Politics, and the Planetary Costs of Artificial Intelligence,” Kate Crawford, Yale University Press (New Haven, Connecticut, 2021)] Ethics underpins the utility of the training sets upon which AI depends, securing trustworthiness, traceability, authentication, and intellectual property rights.[ Information Technology - Artificial Intelligence - Overview of Ethical and Societal Concerns, ISO/IEC TR 24368:2022, International Standards Organization (2022)] The U.S. National AI Initiative Act of 2020 requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop voluntary standards for AI systems,[ H.R.6216 - National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020,] and ethics is a central concept in its emerging AI Risk Management Framework.[ NIST Trustworthy & Responsible AI Resource Center,] As noted in [1] above, “artificial” intelligence requires vast quantities of human labor, much of which is outsourced to emerging economies, particularly those where English is spoken. The complexities of this issue are unfolding.[ “Cleaning Up ChatGPT Takes Heavy Toll on Human Workers,” Karen Hao and Deepa Seetharaman, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2023] Wikipedia can promote higher-level participation in AI by residents of emerging economies. I present a case study of Hausa, which is spoken in Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Hausa has more native speakers (77 million) than Italian (68 million), but Italian Wikipedia has 156 times more pages than Hausa Wikipedia. Other languages with comparable numbers of native speakers – Vietnamese, Korean, Iranian Persian and Egyptian Spoken Arabic – also outperform Hausa on Wikipedia. My thesis is that development of native Wikipedia can be extremely efficient in promoting awareness of and participation in AI in emerging economies. Students can be taught to write articles, which count as actual publications in the eyes of the world, and many will be motivated to be productive following basic training.[ “Lost in translation,” Sandeep Ravindran, Science 381, 262 (July 21, 2023)] Expansion of Wikipedia in their native language will also contribute to better language translation algorithms.[ “Taking advantage of Wikipedia in natural language processing,” T Yano and M Kang, (2016)]

Author name:

Charles W. Clark

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

ScienceCast, Inc.

Estimated time:

15 minutes

Special requests:


Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Yes, at BCI Summit: Transforming Data and AI, New York, NY, June 28, 2023

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)