Yesterday, I accidentally stumbled on a partial reference to a book entitled Should You Believe Wikipedia? The topic seems somewhat dated, but I felt interested precisely because so I am on the trustfulness of Generative Artificial Intelligence, particularly Conversational AI, which today means mainly ChatGPT and Bard. I could have looked for some reviews through Google Scholar, or maybe look at the publishing house web, but I thought that asking for an abstract to ChatGPT could be easier, so I did. I prompted for an abstract of the book, specifying the whole title and subtitle, and I got it in seconds. It looked too conventional, the typical back cover text, so I prompted for abstracts by chapter, and I got them, nine short abstracts for nine chapters; then I felt curious about one of them, prompted for it, and so I get a longer abstract. There I stopped and, on the whole, the abstract didn't look mesmerizing but yes good enough to get the book. Wonderful, I thought, because this could be from now on the best and easiest way to decide about getting particular books about which I just had some scant reference. Then I bought it but didn't even open it, as I was busy with other tasks (in fact, this was a typical online distraction). It should wait on the ever-growing queue of books to read –or maybe not.
Some hours later, I had an idea: why if ask the same questions to Bard, and check the differences, if any? In fact, I had begun to use Bard the day before, when it was released in the European Union, but just for a short while. So I did, using the very same prompts, on the very same book: first, for the general abstract, which through a fast, diagonal reading did look neither better nor worse, just maybe a little shorter; then, by chapter, which I also got at high speed; now I just needed the enlarged abstract for the individual chapter, whose number or title I didn't remember, so I moved to the ChatGPT to check it: number seven.
But, know what? There was no chapter seven in the index of the book (the abstracts by chapter) provided by Bard: just six chapters, while ChatGPT had abstracted nine. Much worse, even: it wasn't simply an incomplete or partially wrong result, as far as the titles of the chapters had no resemblance at all. My first intuition was that one of these GAIs had missed the point, or the book, and ChatGPT was, of course, my usual suspect. Fortunately, I had the book and could verify, and guess what: neither nine nor six chapters and not a simple individual coincidence in their titles. Both GhatGPT and Bard had made up (hallucinated, if you like) the abstract of the book, as well as the number, the titles, and the abstracts of every chapter.
At the same time, I saw that the book was first published in 2022, which I had not noticed before. So ChatGPT, trained on data until 2021, could not know about it, but the notable fact is that notwithstanding its usual and boring reminder about this limitation, once and again, when asked for anything that it can detect as possibly more recent, a simple book title with no date is no deterrent (presumably it just had more than enough feed on the trustfulness of Wikipedia, which had been an obsession for years and for so many). It is harder to explain the makeup by Bard, even more, if you note that the book is perfectly registered in Google Books as well as in Google Scholar and, of course, plenty of libraries, bookshops, and other catalogs.
Should You Believe Wikipedia? Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge, by Amy S. Bruckman, Cambridge UP, 2022
Introduction: Design and Social Behavior
1 Are Online “Communities” Really Communities?
2 What Can Online Collaboration Accomplish?
3 Should You Believe Wikipedia?
4 How Does the Internet Change How We Think?
5 How Do People Express Identity Online, and Why Is This Important for Online Interaction?
6 What Is Bad Online Behavior, and What Can We Do About It?
7 How Do Business Models Shape Online Communities?
8 How Can We Help the Internet to Bring Out the Best in Us All?
Prompt: Please abstract the book "Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge", by Amy S. Bruckman
Title: Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge
Author: Amy S. Bruckman
"Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge" by Amy S. Bruckman is a thought-provoking book that explores the dynamics of online communities and their impact on the construction of knowledge, with a particular focus on the case of Wikipedia. Through a comprehensive analysis of Wikipedia's structure, policies, and the behavior of its contributors, Bruckman delves into the question of whether one should trust the information presented on this widely used online encyclopedia.
The book highlights the unique nature of Wikipedia as a collaborative platform where users can contribute, edit, and discuss content. Bruckman carefully examines the social and technical mechanisms that enable this collective knowledge-building process, shedding light on the strengths and limitations of the platform. She investigates how Wikipedia's policies and guidelines shape the quality and reliability of its articles, emphasizing the ongoing tensions between openness, neutrality, and accuracy.
Bruckman takes a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from the fields of sociology, computer science, and information studies, to provide a nuanced understanding of Wikipedia's functioning. By analyzing the motivations, behaviors, and interactions of Wikipedia contributors, she uncovers the social dynamics at play within the community. The book addresses key topics such as the role of expertise, conflicts over content, the influence of power structures, and the challenges of vandalism and misinformation.
Moreover, "Should You Believe Wikipedia?" raises important questions about the broader implications of online communities and user-generated content for the construction of knowledge in the digital age. Bruckman reflects on the democratization of knowledge production, exploring the tensions between crowd wisdom and traditional sources of authority. She encourages readers to critically evaluate the reliability and credibility of information sources, including Wikipedia, while recognizing the platform's immense value as a vast repository of knowledge.
Ultimately, Amy S. Bruckman's book serves as a comprehensive examination of Wikipedia as an online community and its impact on the construction of knowledge. It offers valuable insights for researchers, educators, and anyone interested in understanding the complex dynamics of online communities, information credibility, and the challenges of collaborative knowledge creation in the digital era.
Prompt: Abstract by chapter
Chapter 1: Introduction In the introductory chapter, Amy S. Bruckman presents an overview of the book and introduces the central questions it seeks to address. She highlights the significance of Wikipedia as a case study for understanding the construction of knowledge in online communities. Bruckman provides a roadmap for the subsequent chapters and outlines the multidisciplinary approach she will employ to explore the topic. Chapter 2: The Structure of Wikipedia This chapter delves into the structure and organization of Wikipedia. Bruckman examines the core components of the platform, such as articles, talk pages, and the wiki markup language. She explores how these elements facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing among contributors. Additionally, she discusses the role of administrators and the governance structure that influences content creation and decision-making. Chapter 3: Policies and Guidelines Bruckman delves into the policies and guidelines that shape Wikipedia's content and editorial processes. She analyzes key policies such as verifiability, neutral point of view, and notability. The chapter explores the tensions and debates that arise in the application of these policies and how they influence the reliability and credibility of Wikipedia as a source of information. Chapter 4: Contributors and Their Motivations This chapter focuses on the motivations and behaviors of Wikipedia contributors. Bruckman investigates the diverse range of motivations that drive individuals to participate in editing and maintaining Wikipedia articles. She examines the social and psychological factors that influence contributor engagement, highlighting the tension between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Chapter 5: Conflict and Collaboration Bruckman explores the dynamics of conflict and collaboration within the Wikipedia community. She examines the various forms of conflict that arise, including disputes over content, editing wars, and clashes between contributors. The chapter also discusses mechanisms for resolving conflicts and fostering collaboration, such as mediation and consensus-building processes. Chapter 6: Expertise and Authority In this chapter, Bruckman addresses the role of expertise and authority within Wikipedia. She examines how expertise is recognized and valued within the community and explores the challenges of incorporating specialized knowledge into the encyclopedia. Bruckman also reflects on the implications of Wikipedia's model for traditional systems of authority and expertise. Chapter 7: Vandalism and Misinformation This chapter focuses on the challenges of vandalism and misinformation within Wikipedia. Bruckman explores the mechanisms in place to combat vandalism and the efforts to maintain accuracy and reliability. She discusses the role of the community in identifying and rectifying misinformation, as well as the limitations and vulnerabilities of the platform in the face of deliberate sabotage. Chapter 8: The Broader Implications Bruckman widens the scope in this chapter to examine the broader implications of online communities and user-generated content for knowledge construction. She reflects on the democratization of knowledge production and the tensions between crowd wisdom and traditional sources of authority. Bruckman encourages critical evaluation of information sources while recognizing the immense value of Wikipedia as a repository of knowledge. Chapter 9: Conclusion In the final chapter, Bruckman summarizes the key findings and insights from the preceding chapters. She reiterates the complexities and nuances of the knowledge construction process within online communities, using Wikipedia as a lens. Bruckman concludes by emphasizing the ongoing importance of critical thinking and evaluation of online information sources and suggests potential avenues for future research in this field.
Prompt: Develop chapter 7
Chapter 7: Vandalism and Misinformation
Chapter 7 of "Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge" explores the challenges posed by vandalism and misinformation within the context of Wikipedia. Amy S. Bruckman delves into the mechanisms in place to combat these issues and highlights the ongoing efforts to maintain accuracy and reliability within the platform.
The chapter begins by discussing vandalism, which refers to the deliberate insertion of false or misleading information into Wikipedia articles. Bruckman examines the motivations behind vandalism, which can range from pranks and mischief to more malicious intents. She highlights the disruptive nature of vandalism and its potential to undermine the credibility of Wikipedia as a reliable source of information.
Bruckman explores the measures employed by Wikipedia to combat vandalism. This includes the use of automated tools and algorithms that monitor and revert edits that are deemed potentially harmful or inaccurate. She discusses the challenges faced by these automated systems, such as the difficulty of distinguishing between constructive edits and acts of vandalism. Additionally, Bruckman acknowledges the crucial role of human editors who actively patrol Wikipedia and revert vandalism when detected.
The chapter also addresses the issue of misinformation within Wikipedia. While Wikipedia has established policies and guidelines to promote accuracy and reliability, Bruckman acknowledges that misinformation can still find its way into articles. She examines the vulnerabilities that allow misinformation to persist, such as the reliance on external sources and the challenges of verifying information in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
To combat misinformation, Bruckman discusses the mechanisms for community-driven identification and rectification. She explores the role of vigilant editors and users who contribute to the ongoing improvement and verification of information within Wikipedia. This collaborative effort helps mitigate the spread of misinformation and fosters a more accurate representation of knowledge.
Bruckman acknowledges that addressing vandalism and misinformation is an ongoing challenge for Wikipedia. The chapter highlights the iterative nature of the knowledge construction process within the platform, where articles are subject to continuous scrutiny, editing, and improvement. She emphasizes the importance of community participation in maintaining the integrity of Wikipedia as a reliable and trustworthy information source.
Furthermore, Bruckman discusses the limitations and vulnerabilities of Wikipedia in combating vandalism and misinformation. She recognizes that the open nature of the platform, which allows anyone to edit and contribute, can also be exploited by individuals with malicious intent. Bruckman encourages readers to approach Wikipedia with a critical mindset and to cross-reference information with other reliable sources to verify its accuracy.
In conclusion, Chapter 7 explores the challenges posed by vandalism and misinformation within Wikipedia. It highlights the mechanisms employed by the platform to combat these issues, including automated tools, human editors, and community-driven efforts. Bruckman acknowledges the ongoing nature of the struggle to maintain accuracy and reliability and emphasizes the importance of critical evaluation when using Wikipedia as a source of information.
Prompt: Please abstract the book "Should You Believe Wikipedia?: Online Communities and the Construction of Knowledge", by Amy S. Bruckman