“Real Artists Ship”

Colin Johnson’s blog

Archive for June, 2009

Collective Intelligence of Intelligences

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

We are increasingly happy with the idea of collective intelligence—the idea that intelligence can emerge from the collective action of a number of individually unintelligent agents. A canonical example is the ant colony, which acts collectively in an intelligent fashion despite the individual components working according to simple rules. However, we are still somewhat wary of the idea of something made up of things that are in themselves intelligent being described as intelligent. It is as if we want to have a single source of intelligence to “blame” for the actions of the system.