A local-to-global definition of CI

I found yet another definition of CI worth to consider, on the “Leadership Decision Making” site. It says:
“Social Cognitive (SC) is the property of systems whereby the collective behaviors of entities interacting locally with their environment cause coherent functional global patterns to emerge. SC provides a basis with which it is possible to explore collective and distributed decision making without centralized control or the provision of a global model. To tackle the formation of a coherent social collective intelligence from individual behaviors, it must consider concepts related to self-organization, and the social bounds. It also includes the role played not only by the environmental media as a driving force for societal learning, but also by positive and negative feedback produced by the interactions among agents. The results will be the collective adaptation of a social community to its dynamic cultural environment.”
Loads to ponder, isn’t it? I’ll come back to it when I will have more time; just wanted to put it here so that I don’t loose sight of it.

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6 Responses to A local-to-global definition of CI

  1. andrew campbell says:

    I’d like to run this up beside your ‘find’ of the week, month or year if i may… “Such as thy words are, such will thine affections be esteemed; and such as thine affections, will be thy deeds; and such as thy deeds will be thy life”
    When i read these ‘things’ definingly and so unartfully put together, in deference to what is in effect 😉 nature (?) i wonder, idly, what Bohm would have thought about such adjectivally nouninesseses.
    Sent in good but somewhat tired humour,(George) …and …did something truly ‘good’ ever emerge from such definings?


  2. Tom Atlee says:

    A fascinating definition, well worth digging into…


  3. scott johnson says:

    This sounds like swarm intelligence; a model of collective intelligence derived from observations of social insects such as ant nests, and some bee hives and termite colonies. In these systems, the individual insects have limited local knowledge of the environment as a whole, yet the nest/hive/colony is able to act on global knowledge in an intelligent manner due to self-organization among interacting individuals.
    This process of self-organization does rely on environmental media as a source of societal learning. In the swarm intelligence model, for instance ants will leave trails of pheromones as a change in their local environment, for example leading toward a food source. These pheromones are then accessed by other ants at a later time, acting as pointers to the food source that no longer depend on the original ant to be physically present. In that way the pheromones contribute to a collective store of knowledge external to any individual ant.
    This functional mechanism of individual agents leaving significant changes in an environment which is shared with other agents who can also make use of the information represented by those changes is called stigmergy, and appears to play an important role in the emergence of higher orders of self-organized intelligence in locally interacting systems.


  4. George Pór says:

    The “swarm intelligence” analogy is interesting but most people writing about it don’t consider a fundamental difference of various “social” animals such as flock of birds, bee hive, ant colony, termites, school of fish, etc, that their complex behavior and problem solving is not only the result of some very simple choices made at the individual level of the species but, in fact, those “individuals” don’t have the capacity but to make those simple choices. The same cannot be said about humans who have complex personality structures and lots of choices. That’s not to say that some form of swarm intelligence is not possible in human communities, just a caveat about the limits of the metaphor.


  5. Christopher Muir says:

    Scott is absolutely right- E.O. Wilson dicusses this at some lemgth in Insect Societies. Susan Oyama and Erich Jantz discuss the phenomena concisely while making larger arguments in The Ontogeny of Information and The Self-Organizing Universe, respectively, and much of Douglas Hoffstadter’s book- Goedel, Escher & Bach is spent in teasing out the implications of (Intelligent)Group Mind, even among humans (though especially within each of us, as this is one of the best models for our reasoning).
    So here are my two cents- (1) As we know that co-intelligence and co-stupidity are both possible results of group participation, we need studies (or at the very least, strong anecdotal evidence) to determine what the best forms of consensus building are, with the various factors clearly defined (e.g., number of people engaged, methods of communication, rules of process, etc), and (2) We should not forget the mediums through which this intelligence is defined, especially the root medium- language. There are excellent books out there, two alone by George Lakoff, which deal specifically with our political models: the primer Don’t Think of an Elephant, and its predecessor & heavy-weight favorite: Moral Politics. Mark Turner also has one out there. These insights need to be integrated into those consensus models that aim for ‘stasis,’ or the essential differences between individuals with different views on a given issue.


  6. A Facinating Question

    Blog of Collective Intelligence George wrote: >Does the need in the world for collective intelligence and collective leadership manifest locally, in Northwest companies, in ways that would make some of them want to partner with us in developing the Pro…


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