‘a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals.
Creating a network through shared intelligence, we see it in open source software and use it everyday on forums and blogs.
When looking into the concept of collective intelligence, a documentary on the ideologies of Ayn Rand come to mind. “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace” a film by Adam Curtis highlighted a famous experiment done by Loren Carpenter in 1991, which is a very interesting perspective on collective intelligence, even though it was not intended to be. In the film Carpenter sat a large number of people in the room and gave them all electronic paddles, one with a green side and one with a red side. he then turned on a projector and the audience started to realise that their paddles were represented by a dot on the screen, which was synced electronically. When they worked this out he changed the screen to a classic game of pong, the audience (without being told) had all control over the game, the red side of the paddle caused the bar on the game to go one way, and the green side the other.The most amazing fact about this is that no audience member had any instructions and collectively they worked out how to play the game and work as a team to get a positive result. This outlook on collective intelligence simply proves that we are more efficient beings if we create networks and communities that work together to share information and achieve a common goal.
Let’s use the humble bee as an example, a successful hive cannot be formed without the instinctive intelligence that is passed down through the networks of other bees, they form large communities and work together for the success of the hive. These creatures rely on collective thought, the phenomenon has even been dubbed “swarm intelligence” , this type of behavior is absolutely necessary for the successful creation and long-term operation of the hive.
Just like bees network and share intelligence to create a hive, humans have also begun to find their own methods of gathering and sharing information. The internet, The network architecture of the World Wide Web enables us to interact globally without being restricted by space and time. In the ether of the web “every form of organization is a network” (Flew, 2009)
With all of this in mind, we should learn to understand the implications on the world of advertising. Communication agencies and advertisers have always been known for being individual, and are leaders in creative thinking. However, rather than a handful of multinational agencies running the majority of advertisements, consumers are now being integrated into the concept process. Not just does this allow for more precise, targeted messages but also allows the consumer to change the way a company advertise in real-time. In mid 2011 Moretein began a campaign that asked consumers whether or not they should kill off the Moretein mascot “Louie the fly” who has been an Australian advertising icon and major success story since 1957. In the campaign customers were asked to go to their website and Facebook page to actually vote whether or not louis should be zapped for the last time. What the consumer may not realise, is that Moretein can properly analyse and scale how successful their campaigns are and discover what their customers want to see throughout this process. This creates a network of loyal consumers, and allows for collective intelligence to be utilised within the online community to achieve a common goal and diffuse ideas about what Mortein should do in their advertisements form within their own knowledge and ideologies. This is a great example of how collective intelligence opens the door to the customer actually planning and pitching future advertisements rather than the agencies.
With the arrival, and domination of the web 2.0, online advertising has become a lot more prominent. Google ad words may be one of the prime examples of how ethics in collective intelligence is important. Google ad words works by utilising users information and generating specific ads to their likes and interests, of course ethics comes into play when not all consumers are aware of their information being used for these specific purposes. It also raises the question as to whether or not is fair play generating ads which are this specific when it should be a level playing field for both the consumer, and the advertiser.
To summarize, collective intelligence, can almost be classified as a deep survival skill of the human race, we do not have to be dominated by exceptionally smart people to succeed, but rather we need to trust each others intelligence and knowledge. Like a herd of animals running from a threat that may have only been felt from one other, is a basic survival skill that our furry friends have understood and utilised. Humans are now able to use the knowledge economy and create channels such as the internet that allow us to fill our arsenal with huge amounts of information that have been passed down and shared from our own community, the human race.
Nobody is as smart as everybody.
Written By Martin Niedenfuhr for Local Website Solutions
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