Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

Google donates Wikimedia £3.1 million and machine learning tools

Google has granted Wikipedia an additional $3.1 million investment, as well as given the foundation several of its machine learning tools to use for free, the company announced at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

Roughly a third of those funds will support current projects at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit behind Wikipedia, and the remaining $2 million will be invested on long-term plans through the organisation’s endowment.

Wikimedia and Google will also collaborate further on a project called GLOW, Growing Local Language Content (formerly Project Tiger). GLOW is an initiative they launched in 2017 to increase the number of Wikipedia articles written in underrepresented languages in India, and to include ten new languages in a handful of countries and regions.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ben Gomes, SVP of Search, News and Assistant, and Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org, said in a blog post: “Our organisations have partnered throughout the years on initiatives that further our joint goals around knowledge access, including making information available through Google Search.

“Many individual Googlers also show their support for Wikimedia, through donations and from active participation in the community. We look forward to continuing our close partnership with new initiatives and commitments to achieving our shared goals.”

Regarding machine learning tools, Google is providing Wikipedia free access to its Custom Search API and its Cloud Vision API, which will help the encyclopaedia’s editors more easily and accurately cite the information they use.

The Search API will let them quickly search sources on the web without having to leave Wikipedia, while the vision tool will let editors easily digitise books so they can be used to support Wikipedia articles too. It comes after Google Translate has also been announced to be embedded in Wikipedia, earlier this month.

Since the majority of Wikipedia’s articles are in English or main European languages, this collaboration between Google and Wikipedia will represent a solution for millions of underrepresented minorities online.

“Google and Wikimedia each play a unique role in an internet that works for and reflects the diversity of its users”, said Lisa Gruwell, Chief Advancement Officer Wikimedia Foundation, “We look forward to continuing our work with Google in close collaboration with our communities around the world.”

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