Collective Intelligence


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Seminar presentation by Mi Gao & Sandra Rivera for the course Computers as Culture.

Published in: Education, Technology

Collective Intelligence

  1. 1. Collective Intelligence Mi Gao & Sandra Rivera______
  2. 2. Collective intelligence: concept and implications Here comes everybody The cult of the amateur
  3. 3. “Intelligence” and “Collective” Intelligence Collective the “capability of a system defined as “of, relating to, to adapt its behavior to characteristic of, or made meet its goals in a range of by a number of people environments” acting as a group” (Fogel,1995, p. 22) (American Heritage Dictionary) “the ability to solve hard problems” (Minsky, 1985)
  4. 4. What is collective intelligence?
  5. 5. MIT Center for Collective Intelligence Current Working Definition: Groups of individuals doing things collectively that seem intelligent.
  6. 6. Question How about beehives and ant colonies are examples of groups of insects doing things like finding food sources that seem intelligent ? Could we even view a single human brain as a collection of individual neurons or parts of the brain that collectively act intelligently ?
  7. 7. MIT Center for Collective Intelligence Further Definition: Collective Intelligence relies upon the individual knowledge, creativity, and identity of its constituent parts, and emerges from a synergy between them. In its highest forms, participating in collective intelligence can actually help people self-actualize while solving collective problems.
  8. 8. Wikipedia Collective intelligence has been defined as a “shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. Collective intelligence appears in a wide variety of forms of consensus decision making in bacteria, animals, humans, and computer networks”.
  9. 9. Levy’s definition “It is a form of universally distributed intelligence, constantly enhanced, coordinated in real time, and resulting in the effective mobilization of skills. (1997, p. 13)
  10. 10. Levy’s Definition indispensable characteristic The basis and goal of collective intelligence is the mutual reorganization and enrichment of individuals rather than the cult of fetishized or hypostatized communities (1997, p. 13).
  11. 11. Identifiers of Collective intelligence a group of actors a set of resources available to those actors a set of actions that the actors take the collective results of the actions a way of evaluating the result
  12. 12. Question Some people, when they hear the term “collective intelligence” assume that it implies individuals giving up their individuality to be somehow subsumed in a group. What do you think about this opinion ?
  13. 13. Which factors inhibit collective intelligence ? Groupthink and Informational Cascades Social Dilemmas Coordination Failures
  14. 14. Groupthink and Informational Cascades Whole turns to be less than the sum of the parts because only some parts are actually contributing while everyone else imitates or conforms. Remedy: mechanisms that foster diversity and independence might improve collective intelligence.
  15. 15. Social Dilemmas Whole turns to be less than the sum of the parts because some parts contribute and the others slack off. Remedy: Incentives must be carefully structured to reward individual participation as well as collective intelligence.
  16. 16. Coordination Failures Whole turns to be less than the sum of the parts because the parts’ contributions interfere with or cancel each other. Remedy: evolving structures and practices that coordinate individual contribution (Al-Hakim & Memmola, 2008 )
  17. 17. Participation
  18. 18. Question Why do people take part in the activity? What motivates them to participate ? What incentives are at work?
  19. 19. Human Motivation Money Love • 1) intrinsic enjoyment of an activity • 2) socializing with others • 3) contributing to a cause Glory (Malone, Laubacher, and Dellarocas, 2009)
  20. 20. Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations Clay Shirky • consultant on Internet technologies • Professor in New York University
  21. 21. Here comes everybody Group action just got easier”
  22. 22. Here comes everybody 3. Collective action 2. Cooperation 1. Sharing
  23. 23. Stages in formation of groups: sharing
  24. 24. Stages in formation of groups: cooperation
  25. 25. Stages in formation of groups: collective action
  26. 26. Stages in formation of groups: collective action
  27. 27. Stages in formation of groups: collective action “ Revolution doesn’t happen when society adopts new technologies, it happens when society adopt new behaviors” (Shirky, 2008, p. 160)
  28. 28. The cult of the amateur: how blogs, MySpace, YouTube and the rest of today's user generated media are killing our culture and economy Andrew Keen • Internet entrepreneur • executive at several Silicon Valley based technology start-ups
  29. 29. The cult of the amateur “ noble amateur”: “ the heart of Web 2.0’s cultural revolution and threatens to turn our intellectual traditions and institutions upside down. In one sense, it is a digitalized version of Rousseau’s noble savage, representing the triumph of innocence over experience, of romanticism over the commonsense wisdom of the Enlightenment” (Keen, 2008, p. 36)
  30. 30. The cult of the amateur • has entries “none of them edited Wikipedia or vetted for accuracy.”
  31. 31. “ Our goal is to capture the full range of humanity's various understandings and knowledge of reality, and thereby to paint a maximally broad and detailed portrait of our universe as accurately as living humans understand it. We also expect our approved articles to be, in the long run, as authoritative, error-free, and well-written as encyclopedia articles are expected to be”
  32. 32. Wikipedia Citizendium Year of creation 2001 2006 (pilot) 2007 (public) Creators Jimmy Wales Larry Sanger Larry Sanger Platform Media Wiki Media Wiki URL Languages 260 1 (English) Articles in English 3,058,844 12,338 Popularity in internet 6 52,387 (Alexa) Registered users 10,727,792 2,100 (2007)
  33. 33. Shirky into social media Internet has native support for groups and conversation at the same time All media gets digitized, Internet becomes the mode of carriage for all other media Media where the audience not only consumes media, but also produces it (Shirky, 2009)
  34. 34. Which model do you prefer, Wikipedia or Citizendium ? How valuable is the content generated in social web ? Do we need gatekeepers to monitor the production or the quality of contents found in social media?
  35. 35. References •2005. Wikipedia: External peer review/Nature December 2005 [Online]. Wikipedia. Available: [Accessed 9 October 2009]. •2009. Collective intelligence [Online]. Wikipedia. Available: [Accessed 9 October 2009]. •AL-HAKIM, L. & MEMMOLA, M. 2008. Business Web Strategy: Design, Alignment, and Application, Hershey, PA, USA, IGI Global. •BONE, J. 2006. Britannica 'still rules' over web rival [Online]. TimesOnline. Available: [Accessed 9 October 2009]. •CHRISJOHNBECKETT. 2007. Mobile clubbing flashmobs Tate Modern (12 October, 2007) [Online]. Flickr. Available: [Accessed 09 October 2009]. •GILES, J. 2005. Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. Nature, 438, 900-901. •KEEN, A. 2008. The cult of the amateur : how blogs, MySpace, YouTube and the rest of today's user generated media are killing our culture and economy London Nicholas Brealey. •LÉVY, P., - 1997. Intelligence collective. English •Collective intelligence : mankind's emerging world in cyberspace / Pierre Lévy ; translated from French by Robert Bononno, New York :, Plenum Trade. •MALONE, T. n.d. What is collective intelligence? [Online]. Available: hci/index.cgi?what_is_collective_intelligence [Accessed]. •MALONE, T., LAUBACHER, R. & DELLAROCAS, C. 2009. Harnessing Crowds: Mapping the Genome of Collective Intelligence [Online]. Cambridge, MA: MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Available: [Accessed 2 October 2009]. •MALONE, T. W. 2006. What is collective intelligence and what will we do about it? [Online]. MIT. Center for Collective Intelligence. Available: [Accessed 2 October 2009]. •SHIRKY, C. 2008. Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations, London, Allen Lane. •SHIRKY, C. 2009. Talks Clay Shirky: How social media can make history [Online]. TED Talks. Available: [Accessed 09 October 2009].