Thursday, March 3, 2011

Assignment 2 Collective Intelligence

Leimeisteer, J. Collective Intelligence

Leimeisteer’s article discusses how business can understand and use collective intelligence.
Business needs to be able to understand and use the Web 2.0 and group collaborative software and easily used software and technologies to enable groups to collectively use their intelligence, skills and experience to achieve better business results. This ability of individuals to create and share information on the Web 2.0 is an example of social collaboration that business can use to achieve goals that cannot be achieved by a single individual or closed organization.  Social Collaboration uses social software applications for Business can use social software and group collaborative technologies to have employees co-create, cross reference, bookmark, tag and work in virtual spaces to create company value.  Incremental contributions of the collective creates value as do the communities of practice that businesses can create internally and with external partners.  

The advent of these easy to use technologies is allowing businesses to be more innovative and creative by tapping into the collective intelligence of their employees, customers and even through ‘crowd-sourcing.” Crowd sourcing in this article refers to the outsourcing of corporate activity to an independent mass of people. This allows companies to disseminate business problems external to their company and use the each of Web 2.0 to attract a diverse group of people to provide solutions for a financial benefit. In this use of crowd-sourcing the intent is to use intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to create competition for innovative and creativity external to the organization.

Lemeisteer discusses many of the advantages and challenges in using these technologies in business that are similar to and echoed by Jenkins in how to engage and learn from and with students who have been brought up in the digital age. 
Although terminology is different  there is clear references to the need for participatory cultures that have been enhanced by Web 2.0. In education as in business this culture can be enhanced by supporting and mentoring an  educational or organizational culture that allows for diversity, co- creation.  A culture that creates a social network where students and/or employees beliebve that what they contribute matters uses collective intelligence to create educational advantages and business advantage.

In business this participatory culture uses collective intelligence for decision support, and aggregates and combines information to create value. Teams or groups are stronger together than seperately. Lemeisteer calls this the wisdom of the crowds and uses this as a definition for collective intelligence. Diversity of opinion, attitudes, experiences and perceptions leads to better solutions and decision support.  This use of collective intelligence in business enables people and the organization to have better tools and skills to deal with a rapidly changing business environment. “ How can people and computers be connected so that collectively they act more intelligently than any individual, group or computer has ever done before” (p 246) is a question that business needs to work with and develop strategies for to remain competitive in today’s world.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a Center for Collective Intelligence  that can be accessed for more information how business can use and benefit from collective intelligence. MIT states their basic research question as:  How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?'
Davos 2010 - IdeasLab with MIT - Thomas Malone  - Collective Intelligence
September 24, 2010

Leimeisteer, J.
Collective Intelligence Business and Systems Engineering , April 2010. pp. 245 – 248

Palfrey, J; Gasser, Urs. (2008). Born Digital. Basic Books. Perseus Books Group.

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.

Jenkins, H. (2006)  Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century . The MacArthur Foundation, Chicago.  www.digitallearning.macfound.orgTwwhe

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carolyn

    Thanks for the two articles on collective intelligence in the participatory culture.

    The concept of collective intelligence is not anything new as the video points out. Beyond bees and ants; co-operative movements; labour unions and organizations have manifested this innate quality of human. What is new is the technology that makes it more feasible in a larger scale.

    Your articles made me think of Artificial intelligence in comparison to collective intelligence. The February, 10 edition of the Time Magazine had an interesting article on how the memory and efficiency of computers will overtake the whole collective intelligence of human race. 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal: gives some interesting perspectives on the possibility of ‘singularity’ – the cyborg world seems a reality at least in writing. At least we don’t stop at thinking about the possibilities.
    Here is the link:,8599,2048138,00.html