Collective intelligence

From Media Technology and Culture Change
Jump to navigationJump to search

In his book, "Convergence Culture," Henry Jenkins writes that, "None of us can know everything; each of us knows something; and we we can put the pieces together if we pool our resouces and combine our skills." (Jenkins, Henry, Convergence Culture, New York University Press: New York, 2006, p. 4) By pooling together knowledge from several different sources we achieve so called collective intelligence. Wikipedia, as well as our own MiddMediawiki, are examples of products of collective intelligence. Collective intelligence occurs in our Convergence Culture where information is transferred between mutliple media forms, between different people and across multiple industries. Collective intelligence often entails an interactive, participatory rather than a passive media culture, where users and engaging actively with each other and the material.

One example of collective intelligence is the Survivor spoiler sites that fans developed around the popular television show. Together, they collaberated by drawing from each individual contributor's expertise until they were ultimately able to gather an astonishing amount of top-secret information about the show. As Jenkins notes, spoiler communities "are held together through the mutual production and reciprocal exchange of knowledge." (Jenkins 27)

Pierre Lévy is a prominent scholar who discusses the notion of collective intelligence as exercised through the Internet. Lévy calls on-line communities using collective intelligence "knowledge communities" and he argues that the big business fear that such communities will interfere with commerce are failing to see the long-term positive effects of this development, arguing that as we begin to share more and more information we will also inevitably share ideas of what commodities to circulate/purchase etc (Jenkins 27).