Collaborative Intelligence

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According to some commentator this process, also called collaborative Co-Creation, should be distinguished from Collective Intelligence. Instead of the latter's, 'all working together on one issue', what we have is people self-congregating in subprojects which are only secondarilty coordinated and aggregated.


Tom Attlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute has a restricted definition of collective intelligence, which he considers to be 'only one-fifth of co-intelligence', see

Mark Elliot of MetaCollab offers the following definition at

"Collaborative Intelligence (CI) or collaborative intelligence quotient is a measure of the collaborative ability of a group or entity and speaks of the problem solving cabability of a group being much greater than the knowledge possessed by an individual group member. The ability for a group to solve a problem collectively is directly proportional to the number of members in a group. Knowledge derived from collaborative efforts is increasing proportionally to the reach of the world wide web, collaborative groupware like net meeting, and webex, and collaborative peer-to-peer projects like Wikipedia."


From the blog, Augmented Social Cognition, at

""collaborative intelligence", in which we see content production being produced in a kind of divide-and-conquer environments. Ross Mayfield said on his blog that the Wiki style of wisdom of the crowd was more “collaborative intelligence” than collective intelligence. For example, the group of people who are experts on World War II tanks will write that part of Wikipedia; the group of people who are experts on politics in Eastern Europe at the end of World War II will write those articles. So there is an implicit self-organization according to interest and intention. It’s not everybody voting on the same thing—it’s everybody collaborating on different areas to result in something, so that the sum of the parts is greater than the parts themselves. That seems to be at the spirit of this kind of collaborative intelligence.

I don’t really like the term “collaborative intelligence”—it sounds too buzzy—so we tend to call it “collaborative co-creation” instead. It is a very interesting production method. There is a lot of research now on, for example, the open source movement—how it’s a collaborative co-creation mechanism, how successful it is, what’s wrong with it, etc.

Wikipedia probably the most interesting collaborative co-creation system right now, and it is unique in the sense that it is all-encompassing; its net has been cast very wide and it has been able to succeed because of that. There is a little bit of a success-breeds-success phenomenon going on there with the feedback cycle.

This feedback cycle is the part we’re really interested in understanding, because coordination is at the heart of collaborative creation. We want to understand how people are coordinating with one another through either self-organizing mechanisms or through explicit organizing mechanisms; we want to understand the principles by which those things happen in these environments but not in other environments." (

Key Books to Read

Here is a book about the application of Collaborative Intelligence in business : Teaching an Anthill to Fetch

  1. Jean-Francois Noubel. Collective Intelligence. [1]. Primer from 2004

More Information

  1. Pierre Levy, Aux Origines de L'Intelligence Collective, at Excerpt from a book, on historical precedents for the concept.
  2. The Website on Co-Intelligence, by Tom Attlee, at

See also:

  1. Collective Intelligence
  2. Co-Creation
  3. Augmented Social Cognition
  4. CQ - Collaborative Intelligence