Enough Questions for Everybody

  • Peter Miller
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing book series (AINSC, volume 113)


While I was writing my book, The Smart Swarm, about collective intelligence in nature and society, I often felt like one of the bees depicted on the front cover, buzzing from one field of research to another to pick up the latest thinking. As I worked my way through the widespread and expanding landscape, I met biologists, physicists, computer scientists, sociologists, engineers, psychologists, economists, political scientists, network theorists, and neuroscientists, and I began to see broad connections between the problems they were tackling. Biologists were talking about self-organization in superorganisms, while economists were debating the self-correcting tendencies of markets. Physicists were modeling collective motion, while psychologists were measuring collective biases in decision-making. Sociologists were exploring the wisdom of crowds, while engineers were experimenting with smart teams of robots. Running through all these discussions was a common thread that seemed obvious even to a non-scientist like me: Groups in nature have evolved ways to squeeze intelligence from relatively simple ingredients, and if we could just figure out how they do it we might learn something useful.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.National Geographic MagazineWashington D.C.USA

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