What is Collective Intelligence?

Collective intelligence is a term for the knowledge embedded within societies or large groups of individuals. It can be explicit, in the form of knowledge gathered and recorded by many people (for example, the Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.org) is the result of collective intelligence); but perhaps more interesting, and more powerful, is the tacit intelligence that results from the data generated by the activities of many people over time. Discovering and harnessing the intelligence in such data — revealed through analyses of patterns, correlations, and flows — is enabling ever more accurate predictions about people’s preferences and behaviors, and helping researchers and everyday users understand and map relationships, and gauge the relative significance of ideas and events.

Two new forms of information stores are being created in real time by thousands of people in the course of their daily activities, some explicitly collaborating to create collective knowledge stores like the Wikipedia and Freebase, some contributing implicitly through the patterns of their choices and actions. The data in these new information stores has come to be called collective intelligence, and both forms have already proven to be compelling applications of the network. Explicit knowledge stores refine knowledge through the contributions of thousands of authors; implicit stores allow the discovery of entirely new knowledge by capturing trillions of key clicks and decisions as people use the network in the course of their everyday lives.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - tom.haymes tom.haymes Nov 18, 2011The ability to connect community college students to the larger academic world has always been a challenge. By leveraging collective intelligence we can bring the spirit of the wider academic world into what is often a parochial world for community college students.
  • Implicit use of data, understanding the churn will help us understand the student journey, both physically through check in tools such as foursquare and digitally by capturing logon data- DaveP DaveP Nov 20, 2011

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - tom.haymes tom.haymes Nov 18, 2011How is this distinct from Collaborative Learning?
  • - rolf.schulmeister rolf.schulmeister Nov 19, 2011if we remember expert systems, the question ist, what is the difference between the expert knowledge modeled in expert systems and the intelligence collected in data bases? is it that the first is done intentionally and the latter by accidence? Is tacit knowledge (Polany 1962: Implicit knowledge is probably still a valid concept).
  • psychogeography- DaveP DaveP Nov 20, 2011

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • - tom.haymes tom.haymes Nov 18, 2011See my responses to the Collaborative Learning area.
  • - rolf.schulmeister rolf.schulmeister Nov 19, 2011extracting knowledge from arbitrary sources will always be a business that can only be successful if a model or concept exists that allows to find what is expected. Correlations at random may yield artifacts that only can be valued by using hypotheses. I do not think that unintended searches will lead to useful or surprising results. But if we use models we are on a rather familiar way that is by no means something new which might be called collective intelligence.
  • Designing learning spaces based on churn and use, data visualisation, size and space of facilities- DaveP DaveP Nov 20, 2011

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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