Telugu, one of the top five spoken language in India, is not proportionately represented on Wikipedia. The total number of Telugu articles on Wikipedia is just 70,000 as against 70 lakh in English.
“There are 70,000 articles in Telugu, most of them being just stubs. We need to create quality content in Telugu,” PJ Narayanan, Director of IIIT-H, has said.
With a view to bridging this gap, the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-H) has started an initiative a few months ago to build an ecosystem of content creators, communities and developers of relevant tools to increase Telugu content.
“The State Government will come up with guidelines for the promotion of Telugu content online. We will have websites that compulsorily provide Telugu content,” Madhav, a Telangana Government media officer said. Besides, the Government would have its English content translated into Telugu. “We will build tools that can translate the content in the Unicode format,” he said.
On Saturday, it hosted a day-long meet at its Gachibowli campus inviting various stakeholders, including influencers and content creators, to increase the base. Members of Telugu Kutami (a voluntary organisation, where people from various walks of life can promote Telugu), young techies, Wikipedians, Lok Satta Party Founder Jayaprakash Narayan and K Nageshwar, a journalism teacher and intellectual, and Mamidi Harikrishna, Director of Department of Culture and Heritage,Government of Telangana, took part.
Vasudeva Varma, who is driving the Telugu Wikipedia initiative at the IIIT-H, said that the project was aimed at building a trove of content, which was good in language, quality and quantity. “At a later phase, technological tools will be developed to create bots that can write articles on their own. There is a need to curate the content created by machines,” he said.
Raj Reddy, who is a world-renowned thought leader in artificial intelligence, said it was important to make encyclopedias in Telugu available. “We need to have quality content, which is factually correct,” he said.