World Transformation: The Wisdom of Crowds
 The Wisdom of Crowds
2 Jun 2004 @ 14:11, by ming

Via Blog of Collective Intelligence, about "The Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki:
"If four basic conditions are met, a crowd's ‘collective intelligence’ will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don't know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. ‘Wise crowds’ need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions.”

In the Q&A, Surowiecki says: “the people in the crowd need to be independent, so that they pay attention mostly to their own information, and not worrying about what everyone around them thinks.” The examples he gives are:

“On the one hand, big organizations--like a company or a government agency--count as crowds. And so do small groups, like a team of scientists working on a problem. But just as interested--maybe even more interested--in groups that aren't really aware themselves as groups, like bettors on a horse race or investors in the stock market.”

That raises an interesting questions. Can collective intelligence really be created from individuals acting at their the common denominator of greed and personal gain at the expense of others?

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