While people have talked about collective intelligence for decades, new communication technologies—especially the Internet—now allow huge numbers of people all over the planet to work together in new ways. The recent successes of systems like Google and Wikipedia suggest that the time is now ripe for many more such systems, and the goal of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence is to understand how to take advantage of these possibilities.
But these three things–case studies, new examples, and systematic experiments–are not the only things we need to do. We also need new theories to help tie all these things together. I think that is especially important in the case of collective intelligence because there’s now a lot of hype and prejudice going around about collective intelligence.
All of the above is highly recommended and food for thought.