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Innovation

IQ is out, CI (collective intelligence) is in

'A slight rise in individual intelligence can’t compare to the effect of hundreds of millions of people going online in the next decade.'
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

In various posts here at SmartPlanet, we've talked about the amazing movements toward crowdsourcing and social networking as problem-solving mechanisms for business and government.

Along these lines, Aaron Saenz observes that collective intelligence (CI) has supplanted individual Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as the new measurement of value. He observes that while IQ scores are only advancing at a snail's pace decade to decade, CI is expanding exponentially -- thanks to networks of computers and information aggregation services such as Google and Wikipedia:

"The great advantage of CI as opposed to IQ, is that CI is growing rapidly, probably exponentially. Individual intelligence is hard to measure – there are many critiques of IQ testing based on racial bias, economic bias, the limited scope of what kinds of skills are tested, and how such tests are applied. Still, it seems that the average IQ is slowly growing at a rate of three points per decade – the so-called Flynn Effect.... It’s just too slow to really matter. A slight rise in individual intelligence can’t compare to the effect of hundreds of millions of people going online in the next decade. Internet connectivity is increasing quicker than biology could every hope to keep up with."

Saenz says this is part of the emerging singularity -- human intelligence and functioning being surpassed or merging with machines. "Distributed computing and distributed human problem solving will become one and the same as man and machine become more connected," he observes.

This also adds new meaning to the phrase "two heads are better than one." But there are always the dangers of groupthink, in which individual ideas are quelled in the name of consensus. We will always need intelligent people thinking outside the box -- or network.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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