The Collective Intelligence Handbook: an open experiment

Michael Bernstein: “Is there really a wisdom of the crowd? How do we get at it and understand it, utilize it, empower it?
You probably have some ideas about this. I certainly do. But I represent just one perspective. What would an economist say? A biologist? A cognitive or social psychologist? An artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction researcher? A communications scholar?
For the last two years, Tom Malone (MIT Sloan) and I (Stanford CS) have worked to bring together all these perspectives into one book. We are nearing completion, and the Collective Intelligence Handbook will be published by the MIT Press later this year. I’m still relatively dumbfounded by the rockstar lineup we have managed to convince to join up.

It’s live.

Today we went live with the authors’ current drafts of the chapters. All the current preprints are here:

And now is when you come in.

But we’re not done. We’d love for you — the crowd — to help us make this book better. We envisioned this as an open process, and we’re excited that all the chapters are now at a point where we’re ready for critique, feedback, and your contributions.
There are two ways you can help:

  • Read the current drafts and leave comments inline in the Google Docs to help us make them better.
  • Drop suggestions in the separate recommended reading list for each chapter. We (the editors) will be using that material to help us write an introduction to each chapter.

We have one month. The authors’ final chapters are due to us in mid-June. So off we go!”

Here’s what’s in the book:

Chapter 1. Introduction
Thomas W. Malone (MIT) and Michael S. Bernstein (Stanford University)
What is collective intelligence, anyway?
Chapter 2. Human-Computer Interaction and Collective Intelligence
Jeffrey P. Bigham (Carnegie Mellon University), Michael S. Bernstein (Stanford University), and Eytan Adar (University of Michigan)
How computation can help gather groups of people to tackle tough problems together.
Chapter 3. Artificial Intelligence and Collective Intelligence
Daniel S. Weld (University of Washington), Mausam (IIT Delhi), Christopher H. Lin (University of Washington), and Jonathan Bragg (University of Washington)
Mixing machine intelligence with human intelligence could enable a synthesized intelligent actor that brings together the best of both worlds.
Chapter 4. Collective Behavior in Animals: An Ecological Perspective
Deborah M. Gordon (Stanford University)
How do groups of animals work together in distributed ways to solve difficult problems?
Chapter 5. The Wisdom of Crowds vs. the Madness of Mobs
Andrew W. Lo (MIT)
Economics has studied a collectively intelligent forum — the market — for a long time. But are we as smart as we think we are?
Chapter 6. Collective Intelligence in Teams and Organizations
Anita Williams Woolley (Carnegie Mellon University), Ishani Aggarwal (Georgia Tech), Thomas W. Malone (MIT)
How do the interactions between groups of people impact how intelligently that group acts?
Chapter 7. Cognition and Collective Intelligence
Mark Steyvers (University of California, Irvine), Brent Miller (University of California, Irvine)
Understanding the conditions under which people are smart individually can help us predict when they might be smart collectively.

Chapter 8. Peer Production: A Modality of Collective Intelligence
Yochai Benkler (Harvard University), Aaron Shaw (Northwestern University), Benjamin Mako Hill (University of Washington)
What have collective efforts such as Wikipedia taught us about how large groups come together to create knowledge and creative artifacts?