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More on wisdom of crowds

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RECAP: (Individual Vs Collective wisdom..continued, Groupthink back-fired?)

Kevin Maney from USA Today wrote : Techies hot on concept of ‘wisdom of crowds,’ but it has some pitfalls, with the example of Digg.com Kevin wrote:

Both have people wondering if crowds are really all that wise, and what conditions have to exist to make them wise. Why is it that some crowds seem smart, while others turn into ugly mobs?

At its most basic level, the wisdom of crowds — let’s call it WOC, so I don’t have to type as much — means that the aggregated thought and knowledge of thousands or millions of people can be smarter than trained individual experts.

The WOC has been around forever — it’s what democratic elections try to tap into. But the Net takes it to a whole new level. “The Internet provides a mechanism to get lots of diverse opinions and aggregate it in a quick and cost-effective way,” Surowiecki tells me.

So if a company can use the Net to tap the collected intelligence of its employees, the employees will make better decisions than the CEO. IBM, Google and others have tried this. Wikipedia, written and edited by tens of thousands of unpaid contributors, should be better than an encyclopedia written and edited by specialists. News sites such as Digg, which lets users vote stories to the front page, should surface the best stuff more effectively than professional editors.

Except it doesn’t always work that way. Pointing specifically at Wikipedia, Lauren Weinstein of the People for Internet Responsibility says that the Net has propagated a “basic fallacy that a wisdom-of-crowds approach could ever work, even theoretically.”

Back in 2004 George Por suggested

How can a group of individual intelligences become truly collective intelligence? How can they escape into a more complex and capable collective intelligence, without sacrificing their autonomy? “Collective intelligence is a distributed capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order integration and performance through collaboration and innovation.

Almost 2 years later – where are we now?
Credibility of Wisdom of Crowd – does it bother you?
Collective intelligence or Connected intelligence?

Written by anol

September 21st, 2006 at 3:36 am

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