Home Concepts Teams Collective Intelligence: Proposed Categorization of Approach

Collective Intelligence: Proposed Categorization of Approach

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If we consider Evolved Intelligence a form of collective intelligence, then the premise that most of our developed intelligence is collective holds true. It acknowledges that much of what we learn is discovered or developed by someone and built upon by others in a layered type of approach. There is a discovery that the earth is round which leads to explorers sailing the oceans and discovering new continents. Upon exploration of the new continents, life is found.  For each discovery, a layer of new intelligence awaits.

Autonomous Collective Intelligence

What’s the significance of distinguishing intelligence between formed by a group differently from intelligence that evolves over time through the modifications and additions of others? Perhaps, the draw to associating the concept of collective intelligence with creation by a group or people is not grounded in the outcome of intelligence produced. Perhaps, its significance lies in the diversity of people contributing to the effort. Autonomous Collective Intelligence refers to the simple form of collective intelligence based in the concept of people coming together to discover, share, and generate new knowledge.

The potential for surprise and outcomes within a group is expansive. A diverse group of people can generate an outcome greater than most individuals or pairs of individuals.  Additionally, shared and sparked thinking enables the group to generate an outcome larger than originally perceived. One idea or direction often sparks another. An intensive argument might spawn a new philosophy or perspective. Published studies, documents, and books from each group member form a collective bibliography and treatise that may have been overlooked. The reach of a group is further and deeper than a single person.

One other important factor in regards to collective intelligence is the environment in which it is spawned. In this case, environment refers to both the physical and energetic qualities of the meeting site. Considerations of the physical environment include qualities such as spaciousness, layout, lighting, and seating, resources for writing and viewing, and airflow. United States military agencies have developed standards for these elements to ensure that maximum intellect and focus is probable. In studies conducted in the 1990s and forward, it was noted that variations in airflow, lighting, and visibility levels either enhanced or impeded the capacity of individuals to focus, think, and proficiently fulfill the requirements of their job function.  The energetic environment is impacted mostly by the mood and expectations of the participants as well as each person’s capacity to contribute value. Positive moods imbue energy while negative ones deplete energy. The energy of the group is also influenced by the quantity of people in its membership. It’s advised to balance the quality of the group with the quantity. Too few people may limit the breadth of the intelligence while too many people may overwhelm it.

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