Collective Intelligence – Will there ever be a truly ‘finished’ system in the future?

March 7, 2010

Collective Intelligence. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Feedback? Ratings? Comments? The answer is ‘yes, and much much more’. Collective Intelligence is a powerful idea that when used correctly and efficiently, can be the greatest source of information and power that one can possibly achieve. In laymen terms, CI refers to all the knowledge and experiences of all users of a system or product. Web 2.0 has enabled Collective Intelligence to grow since web 2.0 has actively promoted collaboration and interactivity between users, which is exactly what CI needs to function.

There are several examples of CI which we may have overlooked. Companies have only recently caught on to the untapped potential of CI. We now see it being used almost ubiquitously.

Take Windows OS for example. From XP and onwards, it has included an Error Reporting mechanism which is an implementation of CI. CI is also ever present in other areas such as gaming industry, with many games now supporting a feedback mechanism such as games based on the popular ‘Steam’ platform.

Many more examples of Collective Intelligence exist but are not easy to detect. This is because they are hidden or not entirely obvious. Google has risen because of collective intelligence. Google’s search engine uses data from people who search the net to rank pages, known as PageRank.

In the future I believe CI will be used standard part of the lifecycle of a system, part of the Maintenance Phase.

– Shravan.