September 20, 2009

From hardware-based sensors of the physical to software-based sensors of the social

John Seely Brown.jpgQuotes in this blogpost are from “Ecological Computing,”

by John Seely Brown and Feng Zhao.

Confluences and their combined confluence

Looking back at the first decades of the third millennium, humans will see them as the era of the Great Transition, an unexpected result brought to us by a confluence of many confluences.

Writing about an omni-present, planet-scale sensor network that will dwarf the Internet by many orders of magnitude, and its implications for biological and computing ecologies, John Seely Brown mentioned:

“The transformational force underlying this change is the confluence of recent rapid technological advances such as micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors and actuators, wireless and mobile networking, and low-power embedded microprocessors… When the sensor grid becomes ubiquitous it becomes like an enormous digital retina stretched over the surface of the planet.”

The idea of a planet-scale sensor network evokes an orbital view of not only the confluence of technological developments that make it possible but also, the other confluences that such network contributes to and mingles with. For example, the confluence of shifts from authority to authenticity as driver of social organization, from scarcity to wide availability of knowledge, and from groupware to massively distributed social media that link up mega-millions of minds.

“Let's add intelligent browsers to this vast sensing system that lets scientists, government regulators, or environmental advocates use the internet to ask questions never before imaginable.”

When we’ll use such browsers for navigating on the ocean of data obtained from networked indicators of social well-being, collective moods, diseases in the global social body, and challenges to collective intelligence and wisdom, then we’ll have made a decisive step towards the bulk of humankind joining in a self-aware meta-being.

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November 10, 2008

Obama, collective intelligence, and Current TV

Gore is pitching CI at Web 2 Summit.jpgAl Gore made an intriguing comment about the presidential election at the recent Web 2.0 Summit.

"One of the reasons we were all thrilled Tuesday night is it was pretty obvious this was a collectively intelligent decision."

That made me wonder, what if Gore's Current TV became a more conscious and competent vehicle for bottom-up “collective intelligence” generation, by engaging the combined power of social and electronic technologies for CI?

Gore's statement comes 1/2 later than my "With Obama, for a new kind of “surge” – the surge of social creativity and collective intelligence" and "Resources for amplifying our collective intelligence and collective wisdom" blog entries at Obama's site but what is important that he would have more chance to act on them with a higher leverage than me. Let's see what he will do with it.

October 11, 2008

Combining social and electronic technologies for large-scale, collaborative meaning making

Large-scale, collaborative meaning making is a vital condition for dealing with crises and turning breakdowns into breakthroughs, locally and globally.

To be effective, the social technologies for facilitating that transformation need to be supported by the best what emergent electronic technologies can offer. For example:

Imagine to couple Personal Brain with a robust taxonomy-builder and a semantic engine,
all rolled up into a rapid-deployment learning environment that can be easily customized
for any knowledge domain or project, by community tech stewards, including non-programmers.

What do you see? What could such system enable?
What new community, organisational, and global capacities could be afforded by it?
Here’s my take on what it should help us with:

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June 29, 2004

Bringing "Collective Objectivity" to Society's Decision-Making

As suggested by George Por in his entry about intersubjectivity and collective objectivity,
approaches such as Andrew Cohen's remarkable enlightened communication constitute leading-edge work in group-level "collective objectivity".

However, our global predicament and democratic sensibilities call us to translate this capacity for collective objectivity into our political/governmental institutions in ways that actually enable us to collectively address our growing collective problems well. For this task we need to know more than powerful in-group processes that deepen the consciousness of participants. We need further explorations to clarify ways to do at least the following (and probably more) in ways that can enhance a group's collective objectivity and channel it into service of the whole society:

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May 27, 2003

"Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All"

In February, I wrote about Tom Atlee, pioneer of "co-intelligence", whom I have the honor to call a friend. Tom talks about the following 5 dimensions of co-intelligence: multi-modal intelligence, collaborative intelligence, wisdom, collective intelligence and universal intelligence. His definitions are rich, reflecting decades of engaged research as a philosopher and social activist. He says, "If we are to know life at a deeper, more engaged level, we'll need to develop a deeper, more engaged intelligence that includes all these dimensions." and I tend to agree with him.

What prompted this blog entry is Tom's soon-to-be-relased book, the "The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All". I think the book is a must read for every student of the emerging interdisciplinary field of collective intelligence and particularly those who want to apply its principles, models, and practices to build a better world.