On the Notion of Collective Intelligence: Opportunity or Challenge?

On the Notion of Collective Intelligence: Opportunity or Challenge?

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1577-9.ch001
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In this article, the author explores the notion of Collective Intelligence (CI) as an emerging computing paradigm. The article is meant to provide a historical and contextual view of CI through the lenses of as many related disciplines as possible (biology, sociology, natural and environmental sciences, physics) in conjunction with the computer science point of view. During this explorative journey, the article also aims at pinpointing the current strengths and weaknesses of CI-related computational and system engineering design and implementation methodologies of CI-based systems. A non-exhaustive list of case studies set up the stage for CI applications as well as challenging research questions. These can be particularly directed towards the Social Web, as a very prominent example of synergistic interactions of a group of people with diverse cultural and professional backgrounds and its potential to become a platform for the emergence of truly CI-based systems.
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1. On The Definition Of Collective Intelligence

According to a definition in Wikipedia “Collective intelligence is 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 - a field that studies collective behaviourfrom the level of quarks to the level of bacterial, plant, animal, and human societies.”

Occasionally, the term Collective Intelligence appears to be a synonym of Swarm Intelligence, Group IQ, Symbiotic Intelligence. Our quest in Oxford English Dictionary, however, returns no entry for the term Collective Intelligence. Instead, terms like Central Intelligence Agency, Military Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, SETI, Secret Intelligence Service, Nous and Intelligent Quotient are prompted as potential candidates of an answer to our quest.

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