The second Wikimedia Technology Summit aimed to foster collaboration and innovation in the field of Indic language technology, with a particular emphasis on promoting open-source solutions and building a community of like-minded individuals and organizations.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prof Vasudeva Varma, Centre Head, Language Technologies Research Center (LTRC), IIIT – Hyderabad, said, “We have a large number of people speaking Indian languages but the amount of ‘useful’ digital content available in these languages does not represent our cultural and linguistic richness. It is our immediate need to make knowledge available in our languages. Crowd-sourced encyclopedias like Wikipedia make huge contributions to enhancing the knowledge, awareness, and rationality of people. This summit addresses important issues in enriching content and knowledge available in human languages and the ways to overcome challenges.”
The event was kicked off on 2 March with a full-day mini-hackathon that brought together numerous open-source developers and programmers working on Indian Wikimedia projects to deliberate, create tools, and collaborate on MediaWiki to further the technology available for working on Indic Languages.
Following the mini-hackathon, the Summit featured a series of talks, and panel discussions on 3 and 4 March on topics such as the future of open knowledge, the creation of sustainable knowledge systems, digitization of content, and digital humanities – all with a focus on Indic languages. It also featured keynote addresses by leading experts from the field of Indic language technology, learning researchers, and technology platforms.
During her virtual keynote speech, Selena Deckelmann, Chief Product and Technology Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, said, “As we think about ways to increase digital adoption and participation, it is important for us to recognize the importance of local languages. Since multilingualism is a way of life, it has to be represented and celebrated!” She added, “So much good work is being done across the South Asia region that deserves recognition. This Summit is an opportunity to learn from and connect with each other on all of these efforts.”
Over the course of the event, which brought together top researchers, open technology enthusiasts, Wikimedia volunteers and members of WikiClubs (a project that aims to form youth clubs at educational institutions to enable creation of free and open content) – over 150 attendees had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of topics to discuss best practices and set the future course of knowledge access in regional languages on the Internet.
For more information about The 2nd Wikimedia Technology Summit 2023, including videos and presentations from the event, please visit the official website at https://indicwiki.iiit.ac.in/summit-2023/.
About International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH)
The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) is an autonomous research university founded in 1998 that focuses on the core areas of Information Technology, such as Computer Science, Electronics, and Communications, and their applications in other domains through inter-disciplinary research that has a greater social impact. Some of its research domains include Visual Information Technologies, Human Language Technologies, Data Engineering, VLSI and Embedded Systems, Computer Architecture, Wireless Communications, Algorithms and Information Security, Robotics, Building Science, Earthquake Engineering, Computational Natural Sciences and Bioinformatics, Education Technologies, Power Systems, IT in Agriculture and e-Governance.
About Indic Wiki
The Indic Wiki project was initiated in 2019 to enhance the content in Indian Language Wikipedias starting with Telugu and Hindi. This project is funded by The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, PRIF, and IIIT Hyderabad and supported by the Government of Telangana.
About The Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.
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