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Google Donates Millions, Machine Learning Tools To Wikipedia

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To help expand free access to knowledge, Google is donating $2 million to the Wikimedia Foundation. Machine learning and other tools will also be provided to make more diverse Wikipedia content.  ( Gerd Altmann | Pixabay )

Google and Wikipedia have always been working to provide a knowledge base that's readily available and free, and these two organizations have a history of helping each other out to achieve this goal.

Now Google is again donating millions of dollars, and more, to Wikipedia.

Google And Wikipedia Partnership

Google has been using Wikipedia as a source for certain information used in its products, such as the Google Assistant and Google Home. In the same vein, Wikipedia depends on Google for tools that help improve its content.

In a blogpost published on Tuesday, Jan. 22, Google announced that it's giving $2 million to Wikimedia Endowment, the funding arm of the Wikimedia Foundation, which is the organization behind Wikipedia. This is in addition to the $1.1 million Google.org donated last year to Wikimedia's annual funding. In total, Google's contribution to the Wikimedia foundation over the last decade is now more than $7.5 million.

Tools For Diversity

Aside from monetary aid, Google is also giving Wikipedia free access to its Cloud services. Google Cloud Custom Search API will be available to Wikipedia editors so they can "ensure contributions are appropriately cited from sources." The Cloud Vision API, on the other hand, will help in digitizing Indic books under public domain "to include more diverse and reputable sources for citations."

Google Translate will also be available to Wikipedia's volunteer editors to help them push out content that will cater to more languages.

"By introducing Google Translate as one of the machine translation systems, Wikipedia's content translation tool can now support an additional 15 languages, including Hausa, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Yoruba, and Zulu. Today, Wikipedia's content translation tool can facilitate translations in a total of 121 languages," Lisa Gruwell, chief advancement officer for the Wikimedia Foundation, said.

Project Tiger

Google and Wikipedia also announced Project Tiger's expansion. Now called Growing Local Language Content on Wikipedia (GLOW), the joint initiative aims to provide and improve content in underrepresented languages in India. This will also include 10 new languages from the North African region, Nigeria, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Middle East.

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