Millions around the world turn to Wikipedia when they want to better understand the world around them, and that apparently includes artificial intelligence — the most searched topic on the online encyclopedia in 2023.
“ChatGPT is one of the generative AI tools that is trained on Wikipedia data, pulling large amounts of content from Wikipedia projects to answer people’s questions,” says Anusha Alikhan, chief communications officer at the Wikimedia Foundation. “So, the fact that millions of people are going to Wikipedia to learn about ChatGPT is kind of an interesting twist.”
Wikipedia articles about ChatGPT garnered more than 79 million page views across all languages, according to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts and funds the site. The information found on Wikipedia is managed by volunteer editors around the world.
English-language Wikipedia drew more than 84 billion views in 2023, according to the nonprofit. The top five articles this year were ChatGPT; Deaths in 2023; 2023 World Cricket Cup; Indian Premier League; and the film “Oppenheimer.”
Cricket is a popular global sport, but this is the first time since Wikipedia started keeping track in 2015 that an article about the sport made the list.
The rest of the most popular topics in Wikipedia’s Top 25 include a couple of Indian movies, as well as the U.S. megahit film, “Barbie.” Two celebrities who died this year —Matthew Perry and Lisa Marie Presley — are on the list, as are two well-known people: singer Taylor Swift and businessman Elon Musk, who made headlines a lot this year. Sports events, the United States, and India also made the Top 25 list.
“It gives the world, in our opinion, a real deep dive into the topics that people were most interested in for the entire year,” Alikhan says. “We often say also that Wikipedia reflects the world.”
According to Wikipedia data, the top five countries that accessed the English Wikipedia in 2023 are the United States (33 billion page views); the United Kingdom (9 billion page views); India (8.48 million page views); Canada (3.95 billion page views); and Australia (2.56 billion page views).
Historical subjects that make the list are often connected to a current event, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called father of the atomic bomb.
“The fact that number seven on the list is J. Robert Oppenheimer speaks to the fact that it was, of course, connected to the ‘Oppenheimer’ movie,” Alikhan says. “The article about him was also very highly trafficked, in addition to the film. So typically, if there’s a historical article in the Top 25, it’s because it was related to a current event.”
Top 25 English Wikipedia articles that received the most pageviews in 2023:
ChatGPT 49 million page views
Deaths in 2023 43 million
2023 Cricket World Cup 38 million
Indian Premier League 32 million
Oppenheimer (film) 28 million
Cricket World Cup 25.9 million
J. Robert Oppenheimer 25.6 million
Jawan (film) 22 million
2023 Indian Premier League 21 million
Pathaan (film) 19.9 million
The Last of Us (TV series) 19.7 million
Taylor Swift 19 million
Barbie (film) 18 million
Cristiano Ronaldo 17 million
Lionel Messi 16.62 million
Premier League 16.60 million
Matthew Perry 16.45 million
United States 16.24 million
Elon Musk 14.37 million
Avatar: The Way of Water (film) 14.30 million
India 13.8 million
Lisa Marie Presley 13.7 million
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (film) 13.3 million
Russian invasion of Ukraine 12.79 million
Andrew Tate 12.72 million