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Future Audiences

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Future Audiences is one of the "buckets" within the Wikimedia Foundation's 2023-24 Annual Plan. Its purpose is to explore strategies for expanding beyond our existing audiences of readers/reusers and contributors in an effort to truly reach everyone in the world as the "essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge". This bucket aligns with Movement Strategy Recommendation #9 (Innovate in Free Knowledge).

There are different strategies we could pursue as a movement to reach new audiences -- but as a movement we don't have the resources to pursue all of them. Should we endeavor to bring more and more people to our sites and apps? Should we strive to see our content be present all over the internet wherever people spend time? Something else? Therefore, this year, we will run a series of experiments to investigate strategies to engage new audiences in sharing, collecting, and improving knowledge in new ways. We want to learn what strategic directions make the most sense for the future of our products. If you're interested in getting engaged with this work, please sign up here.

Objectives and Key Results[edit]

Within the annual plan's Future Audiences "bucket", there are two Objectives and three associated Key Results:

FA1: Describe multiple potential strategies[edit]

Through which Wikimedia could satisfy our goal of being the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge.

  1. KR1. Participants in Future Audiences work (internal staff and community members) are equipped with at least three candidate strategies for how Wikimedia projects (especially Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons) will remain the “essential infrastructure of free knowledge” in the future, including the audiences they would reach, the hypotheses they test, and approaches for testing them.

FA2: Test hypotheses[edit]

To validate or invalidate potential strategies for the future, starting with a focus on third party content platforms.

  1. KR1. Test a hypothesis aimed at reaching global youth audiences where they are on leading third-party content platforms, to generate ideas for products we can build on or off our sites, which can help increase their engagement with Wikimedia content as consumers and contributors. See Experiments: engaging global youth on social apps
  2. KR2. Test a hypothesis around conversational AI knowledge seeking, to explore how people can discover and engage with content from Wikimedia projects. See Experiments: conversational/generative AI


If you're curious about any of the following...

  • Why devote WMF resources to "Future Audiences" now, when there are many things that should be improved for our current users?
  • What is the different between an experiment and a product?
  • Why run experiments on commercial platforms like ChatGPT? Isn't that counter to our mission?

... and more, see: Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2023-2024/Draft/Future Audiences/FAQ

Monthly conversations[edit]

Date Topic Links
May 13, 2024, 14:00 UTC Annual Planning – Spanish/Latin America


  • Intro to Future Audiences – what it is and why WMF is doing it (10 min)
  • Discussion: LATAM-specific traffic trends: Look at Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2023-2024/Reports/Core Metrics Q2/Appendix#By user region together and discuss: what may be contributing to traffic declines in Latin America? What different factors may be at play (for example: country-specific, audience-specific, demographic, technological, other)? How aware are communities of these trends and has there been any discussion/proposed actions? What could be a good next step to continue this discussion with the broader Spanish and Portuguese communities? (30 min)
  • Other important trends to think about/discuss as a movement (i.e., what's happening in related sectors – i.e., education; digital literacy; advocacy, etc.) (10 min)
  • Interpretation in Spanish, but anyone is welcome. We are also looking into interpretation in Portuguese.
To participate:

Zoom link.

You can also email futureaudiences(_AT_)wikimedia.org to get reminders for this and future calls.

May 5, 2023 Annual Planning focus group
August 3, 2023 Monthly call
September 14, 2023 Monthly call

"Conversational AI & Social apps"

Part 1, Part 2

October 19, 2023 Monthly call
  1. AI & attribution presentation
  2. Engaging youth on third-party video platforms:
    1. Basque Ikusgela presentation
    2. WMUK TikTok channel
    3. WMF TikTok experiment
December 14, 2023
  • A collaborative mapping of possible strategies the Wikimedia movement could pursue to ensure that Wikimedia content and communities continue to thrive in the face of changing technology and user behavior trends
  • A brief recap of some conversations on this topic that began at WikiConference North America last month, then collectively map out and discuss the key features, risks, and opportunities of several potential strategies
  • This mapping will inform the annual Wikimedia Foundation External Trends update
15 February 2024 Monthly call
  • Welcome, context of 'future audiences'
  • @14:40 - Conclusion of ChatGPT plugin experiment (report & slides);
  • 35:00 - introduction of "citation needed" browser extension experiment
  • 55:00 - invittion to "AI Sauna" event, Helsinki
Recording (& transcript)
April 18, 2024 Focusing on Citation Needed.

Sign up to participate![edit]

Please sign your name below if you're interested in following this work. If applicable, please indicate any areas that particularly interest you (e.g., AI, social apps, video/rich media, future trends research).

  1. User: Aisha_Khatun Interested in AI and future trends research with GenAI in the picture.
  2. User: Newton Kamau (AI)
  3. User:Waltercolor
  4. User:Natalia Ćwik (WMPL)
  5. User:Lydia Pintscher (WMDE)
  6. User:Grzegorz Kopaczewski (WMPL)
  7. Klara Sielicka-Baryłka (WMPL) (talk) 08:54, 15 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Bertux (talk) 19:47, 16 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Sandizer (talk)
  10. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 17:43, 18 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  11. MJLTalk 21:57, 18 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Jklamo (talk) 09:06, 21 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  13. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 23:12, 22 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Frostly (talk) 20:17, 10 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Rtnf (talk) 05:49, 11 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  16. --Count Count (talk) 15:15, 11 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Fuzheado (talk) 15:55, 13 July 2023 (UTC) - I was the initiator of en:Wikipedia:AI and have documented a number of experiments at en:User:Fuzheado/ChatGPT. I will also be on a panel at Wikimania 2023 regarding AI, organized by Shani and joined by User:Jimbo.[reply]
  18. Shani Evenstein Sigalov
  19. Soni (talk) 02:44, 14 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Theklan, interested in both AI generated content, multimedia (c:Category:Ikusgela), and rich media (eu:Topic:Wr0cgff9sat6mv3k). -Theklan (talk) 08:28, 14 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  21. User: Heike Gleibs (WMDE) (talk) 08:36, 14 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  22. Tarkowski (talk) 11:50, 14 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  23. AyourAchtouk (talk) 13:19, 14 July 2023 (UTC) - interested in AI generated content[reply]
  24. Identifying differences between WMF AI ethics and Wikimedia community AI ethics Bluerasberry (talk) 17:38, 14 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  25. Adithyak1997 (talk) 10:48, 15 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  26. Interested to know about a) attribution to volunteer community and its labour, b) clear notice on possible biases and constantly changing content, c) larger AI ethical concerns, d) PR (avoiding fanboi/AI hype and stating what it is -- experiments of generative content using content created by volunteers) --Psubhashish (talk) 15:23, 15 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
    Interested! 2601:249:8200:8390:CC24:A641:6BD7:3154 00:21, 5 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  27. Interested in solutions to combat "plausible falsehoods" created by AI chatbots. Sobaka (talk) 17:58, 17 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  28. Alalch E. (talk)
  29. Dyork (talk) 15:08, 18 July 2023 (UTC) - AI, future trends[reply]
  30. Mathglot (talk) 07:12, 19 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  31. DancingPhilosopher(User talk:DancingPhilosopher) 20:48, 19 July 2023
  32. Using chatGPT as part of the wikiedu / wikiversity student experience Stevesuny (talk) 15:52, 20 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  33. Oceanflynn (talk) 16:29, 20 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  34. Kasyap (talk) 05:49, 26 July 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  35. Waldyrious (talk) 11:19, 31 July 2023 (UTC) Interested in systems that might allow LLMs to expose their confidence in the information they output, restrict it to verifiable facts, and provide sources for them.[reply]
  36. Doc Taxon (talk) 04:31, 1 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  37. Interested with AI content (with its biases) and future trends. Lofhi (talk) 18:54, 1 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  38. Tizianopiccardi (talk) - AI, Information seeking behaviour
  39. SJ talk  23:05, 3 August 2023 (UTC) - ofc :)[reply]
  40. Danny Benjafield (WMDE) (talk)
  41. Hfordsa (talk) 03:46, 17 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  42. Baltakatei (talk) 21:25, 14 September 2023 (UTC) : Iʼm interested in how LLMs may facilitate use of chemical process simulators.[reply]
  43. CorraleH. Interested in the generative context for education outcomes based on Wikimedia projects. 04:07, 10 October 2023 (UTC).[reply]
  44. Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:54, 11 November 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  45. Interested in discussing the significance and implications of generative bots constituting one of our primary audiences. Doctorxgc (talk) 15:21, 19 November 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  46. 94rain Talk 07:06, 3 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  47. Interested in Social apps Lebron jay (talk)u
  48. Benoît Prieur (talk) 09:23, 18 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  49.  A l p h a m a  Talk 14:20, 18 December 2023 (UTC)[reply]
  50. Susanna Ånäs (Susannaanas) 🦜 16:37, 12 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  51. Laurie Capill 26 January 2024. Interested in helping trial AI as an efficient means of sourcing reliable information in my specific areas of knowlege/interest (including earth sciences, resources management and global resilience/transformation). Particularly interested in the potential role of AI as a reliable tool for the conduct of community/political debates that is less prone to misinformation than existing social media platforms.
  52. --Zache (talk) 10:17, 7 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  53. VisbyStar (talk) 13:23, 12 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  54. --Joalpe (talk) 18:20, 20 February 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  55. Focused on social apps. Chlod (say hi!) 05:03, 5 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  56. Interested in new knowledge domains and applications —Ismael Olea (talk) 16:01, 8 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  57. --Txtdgtl (WMMX) (talk) 04:14, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  58. --SCP-2000 05:01, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  59. --Hammunculs (talk) 13:53, 10 April 2024 (UT
  60. --User: Jesse Lynn
  61. --Paula (WDU) (talk) 15:04, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  62. User: Eminayiden AI & Future Trends

See also[edit]