Man and machine – using collective intelligence to solve complex challenges

How we can make the most of collective human intelligence and machine intelligence to solve complex social challenges?

Nesta (the UK’s innovation foundation) has launched a new Centre for Collective Intelligence Design. The aim is to generate ideas and priorities for research that will help advance the emerging field of collective intelligence design.

At a conference held to launch the Centre, questions and ideas were collected about research opportunities that could help further the progress of collective intelligence design. These included:
  • How can we better measure the effectiveness of collective intelligence against other approaches?
  • Are there archetypes of different collective intelligence models that would enable us to replicate, adapt or scale them to other problems or contexts
  • How might non-clinical datasets (e.g., search data, shopping data) be used to identify people with health issues long before they present in the healthcare system?
  • Can we use collective intelligence to make mental health more visible to health service providers?
  • How could combining artificial intelligence with collective human intelligence help us make better predictions of how people will really behave in humanitarian crisis situations?
  • How can we maximise the potential of secondary data sources (such as holiday snaps on Facebook) for citizen science applications such as biomonitoring, in a way that is ethical and safeguards privacy?
  • How can we design collective intelligence efforts so that they don’t end at gathering data (for example crowdsourcing data on air quality), but translate into action more effectively?
  • How do pressure groups influence a collective intelligence process in the democracy space?

Research grants available

The Centre is offering grants up to £20,000 for practical experiments that produce actionable insights that will advance this emerging research field.

To find out more about he Centre and about the grants available, visit the website