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September 28th 2049
Omnipedia is an English-language online encyclopedia founded by internet entrepreneur Tony Hsiung in June 2049. Intended as “a general reference work and trusted source of information,” Hsiung initially conceived of Omnipedia as a successor to Wikipedia, which was discontinued in 2048. Although Omnipedia’s pilot programme was made possible through an investment by Zhupao Campus, its public version will be funded primarily through donations in a transparent process to avoid any appearance of advocacy.
Publicly launched on September 28th 2049, Omnipedia currently has 19,227 articles in different stages of development. It is edited by a select community of human and artificial intelligence (AI) contributors, with Hsiung as editor-in-chief. No announcements have been made regarding Omnipedia editions in other languages, but Hsuing has stated that these will be forthcoming after the English-language version is established.
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Omnipedia was officially announced on June 18th 2049 by internet entrepreneur Tony Hsiung as part of a new round of investments from Zhupao Campus. In a livestream with Zhupao executive chair Xu Shaoyong, Hsiung explained Omnipedia’s name as a reference to “the encyclopedia of everything.” When asked whether it was intended as a replacement of Wikipedia, Hsiung described Omnipedia as “more of an unofficial successor, a reboot instead of a sequel” and said that it would “follow the spirit, if not the letter of Wikipedia, which was truly irreplaceable.” 
Omnipedia went live on September 28th 2049, with Hsiung and Xu taking part in a press conference to celebrate its public launch. They described Omnipedia’s mission statement as “offering an easily accessible primary source of balanced, responsible, and accurate information about anything and everything.” Although it was initially hinted that some of Wikipedia’s content would be carried over to Omnipedia for its initial launch, Hsiung stated that this turned out to be infeasible due to the copyright issues that had led to Wikipedia ceasing operations on April 13th 2048. As a result, Omnipedia will feature fully original content. 
Omnipedia articles are created in a formal two-step process. A first draft of each article is assembled by a set of proprietary differentiable neural computers (DNCs) based on a given topic. Following prescribed research and collation algorithms, the DNCs gather information from a wide variety of sources to ensure a multitude of opinions and viewpoints. They structure their findings in a “comprehensive and comprehensible” text with an eye for a “well-written narrative,” list up the accompanying citations, and add complementary visual material. According to Hsiung, the Omnipedia DNCs are based on the Pacotti architecture and designed to “convey the highest and most succinct tier of any pyramidal construct of knowledge.” 
The second step involves a quality assurance review carried out by human editors, who are recognised experts in their respective subject fields. Using a Drupal-based editing system, the human editors polish and refine the articles to improve readability and make sure they adhere to a consistent house style. As editor-in-chief, Hsiung gives each article a final pass before publication, though this claim has been disputed given the volume of Omnipedia’s planned content.
At present, most internal Omnipedia hyperlinks are limited to hover-only previews of their pending articles. One of Omnipedia’s operating algorithms tracks which previews are opened more than others and assigns the corresponding topics a priority weighting value for development. 
Following Omnipedia’s announcement on June 18th 2049, some criticism was levelled at its purported status as a successor to Wikipedia. In an op-ed published by The Guardian on June 19th 2049, Omnipedia was called out as a “deliberate effort to destroy one of the greatest collaborative human achievements with spurious copyright claims only to replace it with a tightly curated mouthpiece for corporations and sponsors.” The op-ed also branded Hsiung’s call for former Wikipedians to join Omnipedia as “adding insult to murder.” 
There have also been claims that Omnipedia’s donation-driven funding model would open the door to “manipulation and spin” from the influence of wealthy donors who prefer to be painted in a more favourable light. Mondiaal Nieuws published an investigative article in August 2049, alleging that several individuals and institutions (such as Duan Yongping, Google, and Harvard University) have donated large sums to Omnipedia, often without disclosing those donations. According to the article, some of Omnipedia’s human editors are also linked to wealthy donors, taking advantage of Omnipedia’s policy of editorial anonymity. 
- Hongli, P. (June 2049). “Zhupao announces Omnipedia project as ‘successor’ to defunct Wikipedia.” South China Morning Post. ↩
- Hongli, P. (September 2049). “Xu Shaoyong officially cuts ribbon on Zhupao-backed Omnipedia.” South China Morning Post. ↩
- Pacotti, S. (July 2018). “Designing Intelligence.” Towards Data Science. ↩
- Leyba, R. (September 2049). “How Omnipedia is put together.” Wired. ↩
- Passaic, H. (June 2049). “Now we know why Wikipedia was killed: to make way for its corporate twin.” The Guardian. ↩
- Lam, J. (August 2049). “Generous benefactors get better coverage on Wikipedia’s replacement.” Mondiaal Nieuws. ↩