Katherine Maher on the future of trusted information

Jan. 24, 2024

What would it take for AI to become as trusted a source of information as Wikipedia?  Katherine Maher, former CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, joins the show to talk about the fundamental building blocks of trust behind Wikipedia.  The use of AI will fundamentally reshape what information is distributed on the internet—and how. Reid, Aria, and Katherine talk about what creating and scaling positive spaces and community-driven ideas online would look like in the context of AI.  Could in-text citation be a viable option for generative AI? What was Wikipedia’s response to being used as training data for AI models? Globally, the West currently appears far less optimistic about AI than the rest of the world. They discuss that cost and more. Read the transcript of this episode here. Read the Washington Post article referenced by Katherine here. Read Luis Villa’s newsletter here. Pre-order What If We Get It Right? by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson here. For more info on the podcast and transcripts of all of the episodes, visit www.possible.fm/podcast. Topics: 03:57 - Hellos and intros 06:00 - AI and governance 12:25 - How to make trust and neutrality possible in AI 15:30 - The future of Wikipedia and AI 19:28 - What can AI companies learn from Wikipedia’s model? 21:29 - Should LLMs use citations? 25:02 - The impact of the internet on trust 28:48 - How to regain trust in society 34:50 - The importance of “the loyal opposition” 36:01 - Wikipedia didn’t happen at scale 38:37 - How to make the internet a positive place for dissent 43:01 - Wikipedia and AI training 47:17 - Rapidfire questions The award-winning Possible podcast is back with a new season that sketches out the brightest version of the future—and what it will take to get there. Most of all, it asks: what if, in the future, everything breaks humanity's way? Tune in for grounded and speculative takes on how technology—and, in particular, AI—is inspiring change and transforming the future.  This season, hosts Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger are speaking with a new set of ambitious builders and deep thinkers about everything from art to geopolitics and from healthcare to education. These conversations also showcase another kind of guest: AI. Whether it's Inflection’s Pi, OpenAI’s ChatGPT or other AI tools, each episode will use AI to enhance and advance our discussion.  Possible is produced by Wonder Media Network and hosted by Reid Hoffman and Aria Finger. Our showrunner is Shaun Young. Possible is produced by Edie Allard, Sara Schleede, and Paloma Moreno Jiménez. Jenny Kaplan is our executive producer and editor. Special thanks to Katie Sanders, Surya Yalamanchili, Saida Sapieva, Ian Alas, Greg Beato, and Ben Relles. And a big thanks to Katherine Farrell, Jenny O'Donoghue, and Little Monster Media Company.

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