A discussion on collective intelligence and the threat of selfish knowledge generation.
In under a decade the way we as a society have come to interpret a collective has changed radically. The widespread proliferation of collective intelligence has not only brought on a renaissance for group-powered thought but also paved the way for a new age of digitally enabled knowledge generation.
The positive reception to this growth has been profound, with think tanks and other thought generation outfits seen across a truly wide span of industries, with more joining the ranks every day.
Of particular interest are the sectors whose means of innovation have been historically unmoving in this regard. They too have felt the driving force of the collective intelligence industry, helping them create sorely needed thought and discourse and then using that momentum to drive future advances.
This growth is unequivocally a good thing, as the ability to generate knowledge and share it with those who benefit most is something that should be championed by society whenever possible.
However, the collective intelligence industry has once again reached a crossroad and must be careful in the way it approaches the next step in its journey.
Because this next step will decide whether its potential continues to reach the many or the few.
It’s no secret that collective intelligence uptake has been largely relegated to industry and the global business sector, after all, they stand to gain the most from innovative thought and directive knowledge generation.
This in itself is a fantastic thing, as it shows that industries are willing and able to explore thought-based action rather than regimenting their operations to theory or practice with no grey area.
However, these industries cannot lose sight of the ulterior motive that has driven collective intelligence to the point it is today, altruism.
A strong word to use but one that holds merit when considering the ultimate goal of a collective, to drive progress.
Progress is inherently a positive force, and the knowledge created and shared by collective intelligence fits this mould for growth and prosperity on a societal level.
Which is why as collective intelligence advances and is taken up more and more by private sector interests, it should adhere to two strict rules to maintain its legitimacy as a craft.
Firstly, collective intelligence must be prevented at all costs from ending up on the same path as data, traded off to the highest bidder and locked away from those who may need it most.
Secondly, there must be an effort at an industry level to prevent gating of collective intelligence, as the secrets and knowledge generated by the discipline should continue to benefit those who need it most.
An additional mention of artificial intelligence is also warranted.
The widespread usage of AI-driven systems within collective intelligence is something that has the potential to increase the barrier to entry and further gate relevant parties off from the knowledge generated by collectives.
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated this problem will only grow, as not only the root thought generated by outfits will be inaccessible, but the means of following the same path to a similar conclusion will be out of reach to everyone but those with the most advanced AI systems.
It must be noted however that the reality of the situation is not nearly as dire as has been made out so far.
Not every company is out for their own interests, there are some amazing collective intelligence outfits working to create and share knowledge anyone can access.
There also exist those whose focus is not just on the end goal of knowledge generation, but the task of facilitating it in new and innovative ways.
Like us at Mindhive.
We decided that rather than gatekeep collective intelligence, we’d move in the other direction and open it up to the world. By augmenting traditional methods of knowledge generation with AI-driven systems, we’ve made it possible for anyone to ask questions and solve problems with the aid of a global network of experts.
After all, self-serving goals will only cause harm to collective intelligence in future.
A discipline-wide community-minded approach is the only way forward for collectives, lest they stagnate and further close themselves off from those who could benefit from their work their most.
By constantly reminding ourselves that thought, ideas and knowledge should be available to everyone who needs it, we can prevent the power behind collective intelligence being lost behind an endless succession of locked doors.
This post is part of the Collective Intelligence series. Read the other articles:
Ingredients for Successful Crowdsourcing: Crowdsourcing for policymaking combines the aspects of knowledge gathering and democratic deliberation and in this way, provides a path for knowledge-sharing and space for public debate that can impact policy creation and leverage the power of diversity.
As Coronavirus (COVID-19) worsens, there has been a surge in demand for collaboration tools: Mindhive is offering organisations free Premium+ during COVID-19 pandemic. How collective intelligence practices can help keep companies afloat against COVID-19. Globalisation will never truly die as digital technology continues to shrink the distance between us.
On the front lines: Digital Herd Immunity: How collaborative work software is changing how we fight pandemics. How to find the right problem to solve and create the right solution to solve it. As start-up jobs dip, now is the time to support our venture businesses more than ever before. All around us COVID-19 is proving that traditional businesses are ready to begin permanently digitising.
Pandemic fatigue: So why are so many people already sick and tired of hearing about Coronavirus? 3 tips for surviving COVID-19 — Our collective intelligence experts share their knowledge on making it through tough times as a business.
The Future Lies In Our Collective Intelligence: How human knowledge and machine learning have the potential to combat fear. Is machine learning now more important to collective intelligence than those who created it? How medical collective intelligence can help protect less fortunate countries from the effects of global pandemics. How post-COVID fear is proving that thought leaders may soon be in short supply.
Seeing an opportunity: An upside to being a part of Mindhive is collectively generating ideas, problem-solving and learning with a really interesting community of people from around the world. What are you curious about?. Why private groups still have a place in our public world.
How I can help: ‘I had nothing to offer anybody but my own confusion’ We make the road by walking.
Diversifying AI usage in collective intelligence
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