Wikimedia, the foundation that manages the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, announced last Tuesday (16) a paid service aimed at large technology companies.
Encyclopedia remains free, but the foundation that the management will offer integration options for ‘big techs’.
Called Wikimedia Enterprise, the initiative will not change the way Wikipedia works. The novelty is that large technology companies like Google, Apple and Amazon will be able to pay to use the content.
The encyclopedia materials are already used by these big companies – many of the responses from Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, and Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, come from Wikipedia.
This access is free, but in order to answer users’ questions accurately, teams from these companies need to organize what is relevant – whether through human curation or artificial intelligence systems.
With Wikimedia Enterprise, the foundation intends to offer the data of its articles with the appropriate formatting for each company through an API (Application Programming Interface), a set of functions and procedures that serve to mediate functions between the encyclopedia and other software.
Membership will be completely optional, according to Wikimedia, and the basic functions of its API will remain free. The foundation, however, says that this is an alternative to keep its businesses sustainable.