Malone & Bernstein. (2015). The Collective Intelligence Handbook.


Collective intelligence has existed at least as long as humans have, because families, armies, countries, and companies have all–at least sometimes–acted collectively in ways that seem intelligent. But in the last decade or so a new kind of collective intelligence has emerged: groups of people and computers, connected by the Internet, collectively doing intelligent things. In order to understand the possibilities and constraints of these new kinds of intelligence, a new interdisciplinary field is emerging.

This book will introduce readers to many disciplinary perspectives on behavior that is both collective and intelligent. By collective, we mean groups of individual actors, including, for example, people, computational agents, and organizations. By intelligent, we mean that the collective behavior of the group exhibits characteristics such as, for example, perception, learning, judgment, or problem solving.

The goal of this edited volume is to help catalyze research in the field of collective intelligence by laying out a shared set of research challenges and methodological perspectives. It will draw together work from computer science, biology, management, economics, and social psychology, among others. Each discipline will introduce the reader to its foundational work in collective intelligence, its relevant methods and its most important research questions. The book will also present a set of references to both classic and impactful recent research results, giving readers the beginnings of a shared set of references for the field.

The book is under contract with MIT Press, and we are making early draft chapters available here, in part, to solicit comments from a wide range of people via the Web.

For each chapter, there is a “clean” version that is the most recent version released by the chapter author(s). If you just want to read the current version of a chapter, this is the version you should read. There is also an editable version of each chapter for people who want to make comments or suggest changes. The chapter authors will periodically review all the comments and suggested changes and incorporate them into a new clean version.

In the final book, we also expect to include a section listing approximately 10 – 20 “recommended readings” associated with each chapter. These readings will include recent research in the discipline covered by the chapter as well as some classic references that might be useful for people outside the discipline who are interested in collective intelligence. To help develop these lists, we have included, for each chapter below, a link to another document in which we encourage anyone to suggest recommended readings associated with the chapter and reasons why the readings are interesting or important.

We hope this form of “community editing” for a scholarly book will, itself, be an interesting experiment in collective intelligence.