Enough Questions for Everybody
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.
KeywordsPower Grid Mobile Sensor Honeybee Coloni Collective Intelligence Front Cover
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