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Hardcover | $32.00 Short | £23.95 | ISBN: 9780262029810 | 232 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 9 figures | October 2015
eBook | $21.00 Short | ISBN: 9780262331456 | 232 pp. | 9 figures | November 2015

Handbook of Collective Intelligence


Intelligence does not arise only in individual brains; it also arises in groups of individuals. This is collective intelligence: groups of individuals acting collectively in ways that seem intelligent. In recent years, a new kind of collective intelligence has emerged: interconnected groups of people and computers, collectively doing intelligent things. Today these groups are engaged in tasks that range from writing software to predicting the results of presidential elections. This volume reports on the latest research in the study of collective intelligence, laying out a shared set of research challenges from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Taken together, these essays—by leading researchers from such fields as computer science, biology, economics, and psychology—lay the foundation for a new multidisciplinary field.

Each essay describes the work on collective intelligence in a particular discipline—for example, economics and the study of markets; biology and research on emergent behavior in ant colonies; human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence; and cognitive psychology and the “wisdom of crowds” effect. Other areas in social science covered include social psychology, organizational theory, law, and communications.

Eytan Adar, Ishani Aggarwal, Yochai Benkler, Michael S. Bernstein, Jeffrey P. Bigham, Jonathan Bragg, Deborah M. Gordon, Benjamin Mako Hill, Christopher H. Lin, Andrew W. Lo, Thomas W. Malone, Mausam, Brent Miller, Aaron Shaw, Mark Steyvers, Daniel S. Weld, Anita Williams Woolley

About the Editors

Thomas W. Malone is Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.

Michael S. Bernstein is Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.


“Over the past two decades, the study of collective intelligence has transformed from a loose collection of incredible feats such as a team locating ten weather balloons scattered across the continental United States in nine hours to a coherent body of research that spans biology, economics, psychology, and computer science. Malone and Bernstein bring together leading thinkers from multiple disciplines to produce what will undoubtedly become a foundational volume for this nascent field.”
Scott E. Page, Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics, University of Michigan
“Collective intelligence has been a critical feature of mankind’s past, and technological innovations guarantee it will be an important part of our future. In this skillfully edited volume, Malone and Bernstein provide an integrated survey of collective intelligence phenomena across a surprising variety of domains. It’s an indispensable resource for anyone interested in what makes groups smart.”
Edwin Hutchins, Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Diego; author of Cognition in the Wild
“Synthesizing decades of research across economics, sociology, biology, and computer science, this ambitious and invigorating book sketches the outlines of the emerging field of collective intelligence. Whether looking to start your research career or simply curious to understand what collective intelligence is about, you will find no better starting point than this book.”
Duncan J. Watts, Principal Researcher, Microsoft; author of Everything Is Obvious, Once You Know the Answer