The tower of babel.jpg: Diversity of visual encyclopedic knowledge across wikipedia language editions

Shiqing He, Allen Yilun Lin, Eytan Adar, Brent Hecht

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Across all Wikipedia language editions, millions of images augment text in critical ways. This visual encyclopedic knowledge is an important form of wikiwork for editors, a critical part of reader experience, an emerging resource for machine learning, and a lens into cultural differences. However, Wikipedia research-and cross-language edition Wikipedia research in particular-has thus far been limited to text. In this paper, we assess the diversity of visual encyclopedic knowledge across 25 language editions and compare our findings to those reported for textual content. Unlike text, translation in images is largely unnecessary. Additionally, the Wikimedia Foundation, through the Wikipedia Commons, has taken steps to simplify cross-language image sharing. While we may expect that these factors would reduce image diversity, we find that cross-language image diversity rivals, and often exceeds, that found in text. We find that diversity varies between language pairs and content types, but that many images are unique to different language editions. Our findings have implications for readers (in what imagery they see), for editors (in deciding what images to use), for researchers (who study cultural variations), and for machine learning developers (who use Wikipedia for training models).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018
PublisherAAAI Press
Pages102-111
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357988
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018 - Palo Alto, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2018Jun 28 2018

Publication series

Name12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018

Other

Other12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018
CountryUnited States
CityPalo Alto
Period6/25/186/28/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    He, S., Lin, A. Y., Adar, E., & Hecht, B. (2018). The tower of babel.jpg: Diversity of visual encyclopedic knowledge across wikipedia language editions. In 12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018 (pp. 102-111). (12th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, ICWSM 2018). AAAI Press.