A new field of collective intelligence has emerged in the last few years, prompted by a wave of digital technologies that make it possible for organizations and societies to think at large scale. This “bigger mind”—human and machine capabilities working together—has the potential to solve the great challenges of our time. So why do smart technologies not automatically lead to smart results? Gathering insights from diverse fields, including philosophy, computer science, and biology, Big Mind reveals how collective intelligence can guide corporations, governments, universities, and societies to make the most of human brains and digital technologies.
Geoff Mulgan explores how collective intelligence has to be consciously organized and orchestrated in order to harness its powers. He looks at recent experiments mobilizing millions of people to solve problems, and at groundbreaking technology like Google Maps and Dove satellites. He also considers why organizations full of smart people and machines can make foolish mistakes—from investment banks losing billions to intelligence agencies misjudging geopolitical events—and shows how to avoid them.
Highlighting differences between environments that stimulate intelligence and those that blunt it, Mulgan shows how human and machine intelligence could solve challenges in business, climate change, democracy, and public health. But for that to happen we’ll need radically new professions, institutions, and ways of thinking.
Informed by the latest work on data, web platforms, and artificial intelligence, Big Mind shows how collective intelligence could help us survive and thrive.
Geoff Mulgan is chief executive of Nesta, the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Ash Center. He was the founder of the think tank Demos and director of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and head of policy under Tony Blair. His books include The Locust and the Bee (Princeton) and Good and Bad Power (Penguin).
"This important work provides a sophisticated analysis of the various human and computational forms of collective intelligence. Mulgan demonstrates in a powerful way how such collective intelligence can be mobilized to deal effectively and wisely with the most urgent problems on the planet."--Howard Gardner, author of Multiple Intelligences
"This book presents a novel way of seeing the world that places collective intelligence center stage. It assesses the practice and evidence on how we might achieve more intelligent institutions and systems, by making the most use of emerging technologies, and by applying more systematic methods to amplifying intelligence in everyday tools for shaping and making decisions."--Stefaan G. Verhulst, GovLab, New York University
"Big Mind brims with pragmatic, unexpected insights. Mulgan filters his awe-inspiring breadth of academic knowledge through the lens of decades of practical experience."--Scott Page, University of Michigan
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Geoff Mulgan: