Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

What Is Collective Intelligence?

Jean-Francois Noubel explains in simplicity and maximum clarity what is collective intelligence and why it deserves to become a science.

He writes:

"Collective intelligence is not a new idea and concept. It is the oldest human social organization where individual decide to mutualize their knowledge, know-how and experience in order to generate a higher individual and collective benefit than if they remained alone. Collective intelligence is the foundation of positive-sum economies where the whole is more than the sum of its parties.

Collective intelligence, at a natural stage, has two limitations:

- in size: only a limited number of people can interact before it reaches a too high level of complexity that generates more "noise" than effective results ;

- in distance: people need to be together within in a short range so that everyone can participate and get a perception of the whole

The bigger human organizations became (cities, companies), the more they had to find other ways of organizing themselves.

The main structure that prevailed until today is based on the work division sustained by a vertical command&control hierarchy. The command&control structure and the proprietarization/rarity of money are two phenomenon that reinforce themselves and help the world maintain its own social hierarchical structure in a relatively stable manner.

Why collective intelligence is becoming interesting now?

What is new is that the two initial limitative factors of Collective Intelligence are becoming obsolete because of the arising of the Cyberspace.

New distributed people-to-people tools (from email to social software...) enable interrelation at a virtually unlimited scale and distance.

The old social form of collective intelligence is now spaying very fast, everywhere at all stages of human organizations.

New social structures, new forms of governance, new relationship between the individual and the group, new economies, new political powers are in formation in the cyber layer, competing with the current social organization."



Read the original post:
Blog of Collective Intelligence: Explaining collective intelligence to non-specialists.

Read more at:
Blog Of Collective Intelligence

Related story:
Interconnected Intelligence

Jean-Francois has got good vision and a refined talent at well explaining what he discovers.

Thanks Jean-Francois for doing this. It is appreciated indeed.

Readers' Comments    
2003-05-27 08:27:58

Jean-François Noubel

Oh, by the way, just a suggestion: why don't you also blog your "about this site" text so that other people can ping it? This way you can get in trackback touch with people who want to make a general link to your site.

2003-05-27 08:25:53

Jean-François Noubel

Dear Robin - or should I call you Luigi ? - thanks for mentioning my attempt to explain what collective intelligence is about. I will try to improve it in the future and add a few more facts.

You may be interested in The Transitioner which is a place I am specially building for those many people like you and I who are right in the middle of the old economy and the new to come. The new economy will happen only if we build the bridge, stone by stone, in a very pragmatic way with helping each other, just like what you are doing now with Masternewmedia.

Congratulation for your work and dedication to participate to the whole. This is the most precious value. I hope such initiatives will bring "the bread on the table" in the future. This is what the new economy is about.

Warmest regards,

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, May 27 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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