Collective intelligence - people working together, with the help of technology, to mobilise a wider range of information, ideas and insights - has played a key role in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It has demonstrated the power of distributed intelligence to meet urgent data, knowledge and skills gaps, and the ability of the crowd to organise for pandemic response in a more devolved way.
We now face the daunting challenge of recovering from the worst economic contraction on record, with society’s fault lines and inequalities more visible than ever. The virus has not yet gone away, but at the same time, another crisis - that of climate change - looms. As we begin to think about the long-term implications and challenges, we want to champion and support collective intelligence initiatives that find novel and empowering ways for the UK public to continue to help create and contribute to innovative solutions and models for a more sustainable and equitable future.
Due to continuing high demand and interest in the Collective Intelligence Grants programme, we have now opened applications for a third round of funding.
Building on our report ‘The Future of Minds and Machines’, we specifically want to support more real-world experimentation with novel methods that augment crowd intelligence through AI.
The experiments must offer innovative ideas that could help create more equitable and sustainable futures as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. They should address pressing or emerging social and environmental issues such as reducing carbon emissions, preventing long-term unemployment, closing the school readiness and achievement gaps for disadvantaged children, and tackling health inequalities.
In this third round of grants, we are offering grants of up to £30,000.
Expressions of Interest are now open. Please make sure you read our call for ideas and all other application guidance before you submit your application (see below for next steps).
In September 2018, we launched the first call for ideas for practical experiments and applied research to help advance knowledge about the design and application of collective intelligence for social good. We funded 12 diverse experiments; their results are published in our report ‘Combining crowds and machines’.
In this first round of collective intelligence experiments, we glimpsed what could be possible if we get the relationship between ArtificiaI Intelligence (AI) and crowd intelligence right. When used carefully, perhaps AI can lead to longer-term thinking and help us confront, rather than entrench, social biases. Combining crowd intelligence and AI can help amplify collective effort, and make machine intelligence more ethical. We believe this field is the future of responsible technology.
Through our second round of funding, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, Cloudera Foundation, and Omidyar Network, we are supporting 15 experiments. The findings will be published in summer 2021.
If you are interested in applying to the third round of our grants programme, please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by Wednesday, 4 November 2020, 12pm GMT (UK time). For a full timeline, please have a look at the call for ideas and the guidance on how to apply.
Before you submit your EOI, please read the following documentation: