Collective Intelligence

Thomas W. Malone, Edge, Nov 28, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Description of a research project studying copllective intelligence. The author's team has "collected over 200 examples of interesting cases of collective intelligence ... things like Google, Wikipedia, InnoCentive, the community that developed the Linux open source operating system, et cetera." They are looking "for the design patterns that come up over and over in those different examples." They are calling these patterns "genes", which they're not. They're just patterns - they're epiphenomenal, not causal. "We've identified so far about 19 of these design patterns—or genes—that occur over and over in these different examples," writes Thomas W. Malone. But the patterns they've found aren't really patterns of collective intelligence, it seems to me. Malone lists the 'crowd gene' and the 'hierarchy gene' as examples. It seems to me they're mapping surface features (like 'perceptiveness' and 'proportion of women') rather than structural features.

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