Collaborative Intelligence


Have you ever noticed that IT related sectors (including e-learning) are able to generate more new terms than new technologies?  To add to your jargon overload here is another term: "collaborative intelligence".

The following review asks: how does "collaborative intelligence" differ from plain old (online) collaboration?  In short, "collaborative intelligence" means collaboration.

The review has also identified more terms that also mean collaboration, each with a slightly different emphasis.

The author also proposes how the term could evolve into something that does have a specific emphasis on the intelligence aspect of "collaborative intelligence".

So if you want to know more about collaboration then this review may be of interest to you.


  • "Collaborative Intelligence measures the collaborative ability of a group." - wiki

When the subject has been explored in more detail, and the hype has been extracted, "collaborative intelligence" seems to mean collaboration.  There is a general consensus to support this view, and there are many related collaboration terms.

It would be nice to add extra emphasis to the "intelligence" part of the term, and in that spirit a few proposals have been suggested here.

Points of Caution

  • "Not all crowds (groups) are wise."
    "Failure of crowd intelligence" - examples
  • Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.  It may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. - Groupthink

Proposed Solutions

One solution to the above is proposed: anonymous reviewers.

So now we have a "solution" to avoid the pitfalls of groupthink, how can we use collaborative intelligence to do something really amazing?

More proposals:

Actual Examples


In theory, it should be possible for a significant proportion of the global population to work together on the Net to solve humanity's greatest challenges.  For example:

  • preventions and cures for all diseases
  • freedom, fairness and equality
  • sustainable living
  • quality of life

Here is a starting hypothesis:

Hundreds of millions of people each making small, useful, contributions towards a solution has the opportunity to create amazing solutions!


The challenges may include the following:

Collaboration vs Collaborative Intelligence

There are many aspects of the Internet that allow collaboration (communication, the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and working towards a common goal).  But is this collaborative intelligence?  I suppose that depends on your perspective and what you expected collaborative intelligence to deliver.

Personally, I'm a little disappointed with the (apparent) lack of progress in the area of "collaborative intelligence".  Collaboration is good and there are interesting things emerging.  But where's the exclusive focus on the intelligence aspect?

Related Collaboration Terms

You can collaborate here: EGG: E-Learning Generics Group