Collective Intelligence (CI) may best be defined, however heuristically, by way of the following formula:
AI x HI = CI
AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and HI for Human Intelligence. AI is the design and development of computer systems capable of mimicking HI-like capabilities. HI, paradoxically, is more difficult to define precisely because the human brain remains mostly a mystery; what we know is it can do at least one thing that AI – not even in theory – cannot: understand and appreciate meaning. In other words, we humans are the meaning-making machines.
CI is greater than the sum of its parts. By adding the two together we get a cyber organism (a cyborg); by multiplying or, more precisely, crossing them we get a cyber organization – the product of a profound synergy between AI and HI. Organisms are individual in nature; organizations are collective.
Humans are a highly social species, but to be social is not necessarily to be part of an organization. Indeed, integration of the individual into the collective calls for more than being social by nature, it calls for a socially symbolic act – be it signing the Declaration of Independence or merely signing one’s own name. Here we are in the realm of human meaning-making, the hallmark of HI.
AI needs to be programmed by HI in order to be told what to do, but the programmer as an individual cannot properly represent what the collective wants without being thoroughly integrated into – becoming at one with – it. CI is in fact the only solution to factor AI and HI into the equation insofar as the desire to do something truly meaningful is designed and developed right into CI itself as part and parcel of what it will take to make it tick.
The foregoing is intended to formalize and to formulate the theory of CI. In practice, the problem is not one of defining but indeed of doing. CI is meant to do nothing more nor less than revolutionize the world’s economy and regenerate the earth’s ecology, thereby overturning impoverishment – of people and the planet – in the process. And whenever we engage with the world via CI, wherever we happen to be, we too become one with the ever evolving and expanding Collective Intelligence.
As more than a mere meme, CI is one of those great ideas whose time has come. Indeed, it is being embodied. Prototypes have even been designed, developed, and deployed by the likes of the United Nations Millennium Project and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Collective Intelligence. MIT, in order to put theory into practice, houses the Climate CoLab and hosts an annual conference on resolving the grave problem of global climate change. More than an idea, however great, CI is a momentous event – and thus upon us.
Introducing the first Radical Collective Intelligence: Radish CI
Radish Collective Intelligence – from prototype to product – is the first “radical” form of CI to hit the market and is proactively producing a set of marketplace solutions to the market-based problems we now face.
The root of the word “radish,” stemming as it does from the Latin radix, itself means root – ditto for the word “radical.” To be radical therefore is to root down deep into that which challenges all people and the planet and undermines even the most wholehearted of measures to change the world. Radish may finally be said to be “radical” in the true sense of the word.
Radish CI features a “teleological taxonomy” of topics that can look like – and be represented by – a root structure growing downwards (vertically) and outwards (horizontally). The telos, Greek for “end,” sits atop the the taxonomy and is rightly seen as a topic in its own right because we begin with the end of CI in mind.
To what end is Radish CI? Here we come full circle insofar as HI inputs values that are humanly meaningful into AI so that CI is rooted in social reality at a basic level. Root down and topics intersect and intertwine, forming a new kind of neural network – a higher form of intelligence – indeed needed to regenerate the entire earth and revolutionize the world as a whole.
But the beating heart of Radish CI is not the topics as such as much as the people who are a part of – plugged into – it. A topic is a topos: Greek for “place.” Radish CI topics are thus places for us to get together and have truly meaningful conversations on how to heal all people and the planet.
Let the whole world be a whole world!
Rooting down: We invite you to explore in depth the topic of radical collective intelligence, and its implementation on Radish, here: Radical Collective Intelligence