The collective intelligence is the "key" for the utilization of Artificial Intelligence

Stelios Christakos

I recently attended the course of MIT Management Executive Education, «Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy Program» and it was an excellent experience that gave me a completely different perspective on many issues related to Artificial intelligence (also on technological and ethical issues, etc.). Although I work in the field of new technologies and education and I am constantly informed, the structured information I received and the methodological and scientific approach of this difficult subject gave me valuable knowledge, way of thinking and approach. Cooperation with other participants and the exchange of views and experiences that everyone has in the field of their employment is important. Here are some very important points that concern us all and are not known widely.

Even the most advanced AI programs today have only specialized intelligence. This is something that most people do not realize, based on media coverage of AI. They get an understanding and feeling that AI is more or less developed and like the human brain. Far from the truth!

Today, a five-year-old child has much more developed general intelligence than the most advanced computer program available, including conversation over a wide range of topics and operation in a physical environment that constantly changes.

There are many different types and dimensions of intelligence and some of them are combinations of these dimensions. We all know and recognize our known IQ I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient). After years of scientific research it has been proven that I.Q., as well as high academic performance have little to do with the success, happiness and emotional balance of man. Many believe that the most important is emotional intelligence (E.I. – Emotional Intelligence or E.Q. – Emotional Quotient). Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of the bestseller "Emotional intelligence-because it may matter more than IQ", refers to the Harvard Business School's research that determines that the EQ counts twice the combination of IQ with Technical skills to determine who will be successful. Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of Harvard, has developed the theory of "multiple intelligence" in his book "Frames of Mind" and proved after many researches in a scientific way that there are eight (8) different automoties, all equally important: Verbal intelligence (Verbal-Linguistic Inelegensen), logicmathematical (Logical-Mathematical Intelligence), spatial (Spatial Intelligence), kinesthetic (Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence), music (Musical-rhythmic), inter-personal ( Interpersonal), intra-personal (Intrapersonal Intelligence) and sensitivity to the physical world (the latter was later added). His views turned radically teaching and learning in the US and around the world with the perception that there is more than one way to learn each student.

In recent years a lot of research has been devoted to the collective intelligence (Collective Intelligence) and it turns out that this is the way to the future of mankind at a time when artificial intelligence will dominate. The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has established a Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) with director Professor Thomas Malone and conducts various studies and experiments. The most important finding and critical factor for a group's intelligence is "social insight": the term refers to people's ability to develop a mental theory of what is inside the minds of other people. This ability is more developed in some people than in others. The way it is measured is through a test, which has been developed by British professor and autism researcher Simon Baron Cohen. This test is called "reading the Mind in the Eyes": You show people photos with other people's eyes and ask them to guess what emotion the person feels in the picture. An exciting-and unexpected-finding was that the prediction for collective intelligence had the same success, whether people sitting opposite each other and looked in the eye, or chatting through chat, without looking at each other!

A second crucial element in the intelligence of a group is the parity of the team members. When one or two people dominated the group, the group on average was less intelligent.

The third crucial element found to be associated with the group's collective intelligence was the percentage of women in the group. If there were more women in the group, the group better and in general, the higher the proportion of women to men, the better the performance (which is obviously related to the first factor and to the given and Proven better social insight of women, who are dominant factor).

We are spending a lot of time thinking and discussing about people versus computers, and not enough time thinking about people and computers working together. Maybe the future lies in groups of humans using AI technology to achieve frontiers not yet defined.

As professor Thomas Malone notes: “Almost everything we humans have ever done has been done not by lone individuals, but by groups of people working together, often across time and space.”


Mr. Stelios Christakos is a Management Consultant, CEO of the consulting firm in Education Sofia Education Experts, expert in digital transformation and a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management “Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy” Program.


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