A new field of collective intelligence has emerged in the last few years, prompted by a wave of digital technologies that make it possible for organizations and societies to think at large scale. This "bigger mind"--human and machine capabilities working together--has the potential to solve the great challenges of our time. So why do smart technologies not automatically lead to smart results? Gathering insights from diverse fields, including philosophy, computer science, and biology, Big Mind reveals how collective intelligence can guide corporations, governments, universities, and societies to make the most of human brains and digital technologies. Geoff Mulgan explores how collective intelligence has to be consciously organized and orchestrated in order to harness its powers. He looks at recent experiments mobilizing millions of people to solve problems, and at groundbreaking technology like Google Maps and Dove satellites. He also considers why organizations full of smart people and machines can make foolish mistakes--from investment banks losing billions to intelligence agencies misjudging geopolitical events--and shows how to avoid them. Highlighting differences between environments that stimulate intelligence and those that blunt it, Mulgan shows how human and machine intelligence could solve challenges in business, climate change, democracy, and public health. But for that to happen we'll need radically new professions, institutions, and ways of thinking. Informed by the latest work on data, web platforms, and artificial intelligence, Big Mind shows how collective intelligence could help us survive and thrive.
"[Big Mind] raises many awkward questions about why modern institutions, stacked with clever people and overflowing with useful data, are so often prone to collective intelligence failures, from some of the policy decisions that led up to this year's Grenfell Tower fire in London to the run-in to the financial crisis a decade ago."---James Crabtree, Financial Times
"[Big Mind] charts the emergence of the new field of collective intelligence, which is harnessing human and digital capabilities for collaborative problem-solving on an unprecedented scale. It's an argument with profound implications for the way we organise science, universities, businesses and governments."---James Wilsden, The Guardian
"One of The Guardian's Favourite Reads of 2017 as chosen by scientists"
"An engaging and important read." * Paradigm Explorer *
"A fascinating and important book."---James Crabtree, Financial Times
"A perfect introduction to collective intelligence. . . . The book draws on subjects such as social psychology, computer sciences and economics, as well as the author's experiences as co-founder of the think tank Demos." * Arab News *
"The trenchant questions and thoughtful discussion in Big Mind . . . will help us to reimagine our institutions and convince us of the urgency of doing so."---Beth Simone Noveck, Nature
"Brilliant. . . . Drawing on such disciplines as social psychology, computer science, and economics, as well as his experiences as a co-founder of the think tank Demos, Mulgan outlines the elements of CI, which has informed collaborations from the Manhattan project and NASA's moon landings to Google Maps and Wikipedia." * Kirkus Reviews *
"Mr Mulgan's basic thought is that organisations, like individual minds, can contain highly intelligent elements and yet still be pretty stupid as a whole . . . . The trick is to balance the different sources of cleverness in such a way as to get the best out of all of them."---Oliver Moody, The Times
Preface viiIntroduction Collective Intelligence as a Grand Challenge 1Part IWhat Is Collective Intelligence? 91 The Paradox of a Smart World 112 The Nature of Collective Intelligence in Theory and Practice 14Part II Making Sense of Collective Intelligence as Choice 333 The Functional Elements of Collective Intelligence 354 The Infrastructures That Support Collective Intelligence 485 The Organizing Principles of Collective Intelligence 606 Learning Loops 707 Cognitive Economics and Triggered Hierarchies 768 The Autonomy of Intelligence 909 The Collective in Collective Intelligence 9910 Self-Suspicion and Fighting the Enemies of Collective Intelligence 119Part III Collective Intelligence in Everyday Life 12911 Mind-Enhancing Meetings and Environments 13112 Problem Solving: How Cities and Governments Think 14513 Visible and Invisible Hands: Economies and Firms as Collective Intelligence 16114 The University as Collective Intelligence 17415 Democratic Assembly 18116 How Does a Society Think and Create as a System? 19317 The Rise of Knowledge Commons: It's for Everyone 200Part IV Collective Intelligence as Expanded Possibility 21518 Collective Wisdom and Progress in Consciousness 217Afterword: The Past and Future of CollectiveIntelligence as a Discipline 229Summary of the Argument 237Notes 239Index 263