Collective intelligence describes the intelligence of a group including collaboration, competition, and group decision making. Humans are, in many ways, social beings, we have quantifiable hardwiring, and we can study different types of systems related to our biology, social interactions, and culture.

Although it doesn’t exclude it, collective intelligence isn’t a remark on a metaphysical collective subconscious, rather it is the study of how things like social media, the internet of things, modern politics, cognitive computing, the media, marketing, and published studies affect our collective thinking.

Collective intelligence also looks at group behaviors such as group decision making, and other aspects of social science as it relates to groups. It looks at concepts like our inability to have new ideas without prior input, and our hardwired biases that prime us for cooperation and competition, and how these evolve on a constant and ongoing basis within the dynamics of the group.

Collective intelligence is also the study of applying technologies like machine learning, theoretical machines, and general systems theory to better understand the complex systems we form (including cultures and societies and technologies). The overarching study of the complex systems we form is called complexity Science and in broad terms the study of collective intelligence includes anything involving how the collective works together, and then by extension how its parts relate.

Or at least that is my take. Now that you have the introduction, you can explore the collective intelligence related facts and myths below or learn more from MIT.

Factoids tagged with "Collective Intelligence"

All Action is Human Action Fact

As Mises said, “all action is human action”. In other words, although we form groups that can indirectly act through consensus, groups themselves aren’t physical entities (and thus they can’t act directly).

Intention Matters Fact

Intention matters in planning, action, and doing. Attention, intention, and impact are all important components of an action.

Human Behavior can be Random Fact

Human behavior can be random to some extent, but most behavior is based on prior input, and thus is “deterministic” (meaning not totally random).

A Person Can be a “Lone Genius” Myth

A person can be a “lone genius”, but as an essay called “Deconstructing the Lone Genius Myth” points out, genius is in many ways a collective process.

Game Theory is the Science of Strategy Fact

Game theory is “the science of strategy,” a branch of mathematics that studies the strategy, rules, and statistics of decision making games and applies it to other fields.

On Average, People Naturally Obey Authority Fact

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures (and related studies) show that, on average and under the right conditions, people will obey authority figures despite moral objections.

A System is a Set of Properties Fact

A system is any “bound”, finite, set of physical and/or conceptual properties (elements) such as physical objects, rules, or space time coordinates.

Edison Never Invented Anything Myth

Thomas Edison was a businessman, ideas-man, inventor, and more. He invented things, but more-so he collected patents, headed a team of developers, and created companies.

People Can be Truly Unbiased Myth

People can’t be truly unbiased; we are hardwired with bias and create bias constantly as part of the natural neurological process of learning.

We Learn Best by Being Taught Myth

The best way to learn isn’t “being taught”, its mixing self-directed learning with the roles of student, peer, and teacher in different social settings.

Survival of the Fittest, Only the Strong Survive Myth

“Survival of the fittest” means that those who are best adapted to their environment thrive and tend to be favored by evolution due to “natural selection”. It does not mean that “only the most physically strong or mentally strong thrive”.

Humans Have About 86 Billion Neurons Fact

Studies show the average human has about 86 billion neurons and roughly as many glial cells, however the exact number of neurons and glial cells remains unknown.

Thoughts Can “Rewire” Your Brain Fact

Thoughts and other stimuli can essentially “rewire” our brain, strengthening useful synaptic pathways and weakening less used ones, this is called neuroplasticity (AKA learning and memory).

Humans Have Many Different Types of Cells Fact

The human body has about 37 trillion cells, comprising 200 different types. Each cell has structures responsible for making hundreds of thousands of different proteins from 20 types of amino acids.

We Know How Complex Cells Evolved Fact

Complex cells (eukaryotes) likely evolved from single-celled organisms (prokaryotes) absorbing other prokaryotes, becoming single complex cells over time (endosymbiosis).

Blog Posts tagged with "Collective Intelligence"

Types of Conflict Theories

We explain Marx’s conflict theory and other conflict theories to show how tension between social, political, material, and other forces manifest.

Giving Names to Concepts

We discuss “giving names to concepts” (defining terms), identifying with terms, be identified by terms, and the implications of this.

The United States as a Concept

The United States can be thought of as a union of diverse and sovereign regions, of sovereign people, who agree on the basic principles of democracy, republicanism, federalism, and liberalism in general.

Separation of Powers Metaphor

The four “elements” (or “powers”) that form the foundation of government can roughly be expressed as: citizens, executive, legislative, and judicial.