Wikipedia is a computer-overlord, we need small facts


Sometimes a device form factor and/or its interface modality are limited like that of Amazon Echo, fixed physical position, and sound only.  It’s a good thing. Why? because it only allows a certain amount of interactivity due to these limitations. With Amazon Echo, you can ask a question and have a short discussion. You really can't get a practical long-winded answer because no one is going to listen. This would almost be true of a human asking another human a question. They might have a conversation of short sentences back-and-forth, but that would generally be short. Not having a screen on Amazon Echo is great because you can only do so many things with it.


Wikipedia as a collection of articles or reference elements most of which are one to 10+ pages long. Of course, the topics could potentially need longer more in-depth information which normally is provided via reference links in Wikipedia and is the realm of books or complex websites. Wikipedia is generally quick to read snippets. Encyclopedia Britannica is a physical version similar to Wikipedia. Its creation is done by the few and thus the topics are more limited. Due to the physicality of it,  it's hard to search and almost impossible to reference in the dynamic web.


Amazon Echo and other assistance make use of Wikipedia by scraping it and other similar sources for their information for answers.  It’s funny to show my kids the almost verbatim answer directly read from Wikipedia by Amazon Echo.  What’s interesting is Amazon Echo does not read the entire Wikipedia article.  And rightly so!  Nobody wants to hear that, people want simple answers of a sentence or two for questions.


This suggests that another data set needs to exist beyond the now complex Wikipedia solution.  One with a single simple set of facts or rules.  A type of   “A is a B” , e.g. “A cat is a small predatory mammal ….”    One, and this is especially important, that allows ANYONE to add facts with just their voice, just as they consume facts.   One of Wikipedia’s strengths is the ability for almost anyone to add/modify/edit articles.  No longer is it restricted to the few “expert Britannica” people.  But in reality, Wikipedia isn’t modifiable by all.  You have to have the technical understanding and the desire to ‘deal with’ the mechanisms in Wikipedia.   With voice input of these small facts or rules truly anyone can add to the dynamic collective intelligence.  And they do so immediately.  Let the billions of people add facts to our world.


We plan this feature for our products and will gladly share the public facts with all.

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