Collective Intelligence 2012: April 19-20, 2012 in Cambridge, MA

The other day, this promising-looking conference popped up on my radar: Collective Intelligence 2012.

From the site (emphasis mine):


Collective intelligence has existed at least as long as humans have, because families, armies, countries, and companies have all–at least sometimes–acted collectively in ways that seem intelligent. But in the last decade or so a new kind of collective intelligence has emerged: groups of people and computers, connected by the Internet, collectively doing intelligent things. For example, Google technology harvests knowledge generated by millions of people creating and linking web pages and then uses this knowledge to answer queries in ways that often seem amazingly intelligent. Or in Wikipedia, thousands of people around the world have collectively created a very large and high quality intellectual product with almost no centralized control, and almost all as volunteers!

These early examples of Internet-enabled collective intelligence are not the end of the story but just the beginning. And in order to understand the possibilities and constraints of these new kinds of intelligence, we need a new interdisciplinary field. Forming such a field is one of the goals of this conference.

Among the topics of interest listed are the following:

  • Crowdsourcing
  • Group memory and problem-solving
  • Deliberative democracy
  • Public policy design
  • New technologies for making groups smarter

More details can be found on the scope page:

Intellectual scope

Collective intelligence is groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent (Malone, Laubacher, & Dellarocas, 2009).

We recognize that this definition is ambiguous. Indeed, it is purposefully so in order not to prematurely constrain what we believe to be an emerging discipline.

We seek papers about behavior that is both collective and intelligent. By collective, we mean groups of individual actors, including, for example, people, computational agents, and organizations. By intelligent, we mean that the collective behavior of the group exhibits characteristics such as, for example, perception, learning, judgment, or problem solving.

There doesn’t appear to be an option to subscribe to email updates, so monitor the site’s recent changes or follow the two conference chairs on Twitter, Thomas Malone and Luis von Ahn.

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