This month’s update is a feast for your senses with a special section on podcasts as well as the usual papers and updates. As always, if you’ve come across any books, research papers, articles or other resources that you think we should have featured in this blog, please let us know in the comments below.
This month saw the launch of Nesta’s new podcast Future Curious with an inaugural episode about Collective Intelligence. Featuring contributions from Chris Lintott of the citizen science platform Zooniverse, Gregory Landau the CEO of the Regen Network, a new initiative aiming to reshape the ecosystem around agriculture and PatientsLikeMe advocate Christine Von Raesfeld, it introduces some of the ideas we’re most excited about when it comes to humans and machines working together to tackle social problems.
There seems to be something in the air recently! We noticed that other podcasts were also engaging with collective intelligence, ranging from more theoretical discussions covering current schools of thought on distributed governance and collective consciousness, to those focussed on what we can understand about emergent collective behaviour by studying ant colonies. We also enjoyed a recent interview with Scott Page about his new book Model Matters, that made reference to research on diversity and collective wisdom. Recent offerings from Sage and RSA have further contributed to the collective podcast fever. Respectively, they look at text analysis by volunteer crowds to build legitimacy and combat fake news with founder of Public Editor, Nick Adams, and how we develop strategies for long-term societal thinking and collective decision making with the psychologist Steven Johnson.
This month also saw the release of a special series on AI for the benefit of society by This Week in Machine Learning (TWiML), which chimed with thoughts we previously outlined about the potential of AI for good. The theme-music for TWiML is enough to make you believe that we can change the world but this set of recent episodes further convinced us that we’ll achieve it through a combination of human and machine intelligence. Some of our favourite examples of collective intelligence came from Justin Spelhaug who spoke of AI for humanitarian action, including their involvement in a multi-stakeholder partnership between World Bank and industry to better predict famine at the community level or a new project that mobilises inputs from distributed volunteer networks in combination with machine vision recognition to enable more effective assessment and resource management during disaster relief.
A few oldies we’d recommend are:
We’re also looking forward to the podcast of the Smart Enough City event held at the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard. We think that cities offer a perfect test-bed for hybrid collective intelligence systems that build as much on community based knowledge as smart technologies. If you haven’t seen them yet, check out our 2019 prediction for City Brains and our case for rethinking the labour market laid out in the Open Jobs concept.
We know that you’re mostly here for our awesome monthly updates but we occasionally write other blogs too. This month’s highlights were a working paper exploring future models forcollaborative partnerships around data, how to blend online and offline processes for a more collectively intelligent democracy, and our thoughts on integrating data with other forms of knowledge to improve diagnosis and survival in cancer.
Crowd Forecasting challenge: At the start of the year we teamed up with BBC Future to bring you our Brexit and Beyond crowd predictions challenge. Have your say on two new questions about the use of CRISPR technology and the likelihood of commercial space flight in 2019. If you register in the next couple of weeks you can opt in to join a forecasting team with the chance to be allocated official forecasting training to help improve your skills.