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Lumenogic Research Reports

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May 2012
Intelligence Is Collective

How does collective intelligence relate to the individual kind?

A high‐level review of the state of the art in cognitive science suggests that both brains and the best artificial intelligence programs can be described as “wise crowds” (in the sense of Surowiecki, 2004). Conversely, the most celebrated instances of collective intelligence bear deep similarities to the human mind’s organization and mechanisms.

A tentative conclusion is that intelligence is collective to its core and that Surowiecki's recipe for crowd wisdom provides a framework to unify human, artificial and collective intelligence.

Some implications for research, business and individual decision makers are explored.

September 2010 - updated June 2012
Prediction Markets: Trading Uncertainty For Collective Wisdom

Prediction markets have captured the public’s imagination with their ability to predict the future by pooling the guesswork of many. This paper summarizes the evidence and examines the economic, mathematical, and neurological foundations of this form of collective wisdom.

Rather than the particular trading mechanism used, the ultimate driver of accuracy seems to be the betting proposition itself: on the one hand, a wager attracts contrarians, which enhances the diversity of opinions that can be aggregated.

On the other hand, the mere prospect of reward or loss promotes more objective, less passionate thinking, thereby enhancing the quality of the opinions that can be aggregated.