Collective Intelligence 2015

by Henry Farrell on January 16, 2015

A conference plug for this event: I spoke at last year’s version and found it great (there’s a lot of interesting work happening at the interstices between data science and the social sciences, and this is a very good way of keeping up with the state of the art). The submission deadline is two weeks away.


Marriott Hotel, Santa Clara CA
2700 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054
(408) 988-1500

The topic areas for collective intelligence include:

The evolution of collective intelligence
Human and social computing
The emergence and intelligence of social movements
Collective response to environmental constraints
The spread and containment of rumors
Collective robustness, resilience, and stability
The evolution of scientific intelligence
Collective intelligence in plants and non humans
The Wisdom of Crowds & prediction markets
Collective search and problem solving
Collective memory
Emergent organizational forms
The intelligence of markets and democracies
Technology and software that make groups smarter
Collective Intelligence in the new journalism
Crowd solutions to policy problems and crises

Conference Organizer: Scott E. Page, University of Michigan
Program Chairs: Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford University
Lada Adamic, Facebook



engels 01.16.15 at 8:01 pm

Collective Intelligence 2013 by Henry on January 16, 2015 … The submission deadline is two weeks away.

Is time travel on the agenda?


Henry 01.16.15 at 8:10 pm

A very fair point. Corrected.


engels 01.16.15 at 8:24 pm

I shouldn’t criticise, I lost count some time in the 90s.


greg 01.16.15 at 11:27 pm

I think collective intelligence is sub-additive: Two may be smarter than one, and three smarter than two, but I think it peaks around 13, and declines thereafter. This would explain the general tendency of legislative bodies through out world to be ah- ineffective in dealing with reality. At 7+ billion, and given how well he’s preparing for his future in our limited environment, mankind’s collective intelligence would seem to be about equal to an equivalent number of bacteria.


Shatterface 01.16.15 at 11:46 pm

I think collective intelligence is sub-additive: Two may be smarter than one, and three smarter than two, but I think it peaks around 13, and declines thereafter.

I think Twitter disproves the Wisdom of Crowds hypothesis.


ZM 01.17.15 at 3:56 am

On the subject of utilizing collective intelligence – an open global consultation has just opened with regard to getting broad expert input on a report on an indicators and monitoring framework for the sustainable development goals.

The UN sustainable development solutions network is holding the online consultation – I presume to be ready for the upcoming conference later in the year on sustainable development goals to replace the millennium development goals (which they’ve linked to the December conference in climate change in their action/2015 campaign)

“SDSN has launch a 2nd global consultation on our draft report, “Indicators and a Monitoring Framework for the SDGs,” which will run from January 16-31. This report, prepared in consultation with the UN Statistics Division, presents a set of 100 global indicators organized around the goals proposed by the UN Open Working Group”


Glen Tomkins 01.17.15 at 7:02 am

Are we perhaps reinventing the wheel?

The law, well, at least ius anyway, was once thought to be derived by the induction of general principles from individual cases. The common law that resulted was a consensus of the collective intelligence of people paying attention to these cases. Lately, of course, we tend to confuse lex and ius, and let legislative bodies and supreme courts hand down decisionistic law from on high. It’s not going well.

In medicine, the nosology, the list of illnesses and their defining presentations, was also arrived at by consensus among medical practitioners. But in medicine as well, the tendency lately is to forget those roots. The medical literature used to be largely descriptive, arguments over what was or wasn’t a separate disease. Now it’s all quantitative, about treatments for diseases already in the nosology, and we expect laboratory science to do any of that prior task of defining illnesses for us. That doesn’t work too well either.

Not that there’s anything wrong with reinventing the wheel, especially if people have forgotten about wheels and how useful they are.


Jason Smith 01.21.15 at 12:34 am

I was inspired by the notice to get what I’ve been thinking about in words, but two weeks was a bit of a tight schedule to get to pre-print. Anyway, the draft of an argument that markets in general aren’t very good at solving the information aggregation problem for anyone who is interested:

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