Collective Intelligence

Context: Editorial to the Inaugural Issue of Collective Intelligence, 24-Aug-22…

That intelligence and/or intelligence-like dynamical properties can be distributed, as it were, across the entire information and energy-processing “surface” of a complex system should give us all pause for thought. This seems to implicate thermodynamic system properties and self-organising computational dynamics that consistently bridge the organic/inorganic dichotomy and boundary.

The self-sustaining and network mesh-like self-healing properties of distributed organic (as collaborative, adaptive, living) systems are certainly more viscerally familiar to us but related questions of information, energy, entropy, communication and emergent properties in inorganic systems do seem to implicate a difference of degree, not of kind, here.

It really appears as though there is a keystone missing in the fascinating arc and trajectory of past research in this field. I just can’t get past the notion that a conspicuous absence of singularly unproblematic definitions and teleological closure in the collective intelligence of the researchers themselves indirectly gestures towards a logical loophole in language and communication that we may never quite be able to resolve.

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