What is the sound of all human knowledge?

And do you have the skill to create it?


Zach Collier

If you could represent the entirety of the knowledge possessed by the human race both past, present, and future with one sound, what would it be? This is a bold question – one that the Wikimedia Foundation isn’t afraid to ask.


“Sound helps shape our perception and how we learn about the world around us,” the non-profit says in a press release. “Some sounds are quite simple to identify, like the sound of a rocket launch or the sound of waves crashing against the shore. But how about the sound of all human knowledge?”

In an age of virtual voice assistants who answer questions at the tap of a button, The Wikimedia Foundation wants to create a distinct audio watermark they can use when visual elements are not an option. Through an open contest, they’re asking people all over the world to try to create “The Sound of All Human Knowledge” – their name for their new audio watermark.

The Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for widely used online resources like Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wiktionary, and more.

“This sound will help communicate what the Wikimedia movement stands for — trustworthy, reliable, open, and accessible knowledge for all,” they say.

It’s a lofty goal, but not one without reward. The winner will receive $2,500 and a trip to a recording studio to produce the final sound logo. You’ll also have the satisfaction of potentially creating one of the most recognizable sound bites in the world.


Submissions are open until October 10, 2022. From there, a panel of Wikimedia volunteers, sound logo experts from MassiveMusic, and an independent musicologist will review submissions until November 29, 2022. Together, they’ll identify 10 finalists whose submissions are a conceptual match, highly original, and instantly recognizable. In true, uber-democratic Wiki fashion, the winner will ultimately be chosen by the public through a round of open voting.

Before submitting your entry, make sure your entry follows the contest rules listed in the Contest Information and Criteria. If you need some motivation, look at these free resources to get started. Submit your sound here before October 10.


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