The Limits of Crowd Wisdom - Deepstash
The Limits of Crowd Wisdom

The Limits of Crowd Wisdom

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The Limits of Crowd Wisdom

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Collective Intelligence

While looking for solutions and answers, we find that an individual provides a different answer than a group of people. Wisdom of the crowd is often considered better, as an individual might be biased, manipulated or have some ulterior motive. Depending on the problem, the wisdom of the crowd may be inferior to the individual.

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Multiple brains work well when the answer is a simple numerical figure or fact, and the question is not coming from the collective intelligence themselves. It helps when the input mechanism posing the problem to the collective intelligence has strict quality control.

Individuals, when given substantial powers, start to achieve ‘optimal stupidity’, especially when they are not held accountable for the results and consequences.

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Scientific communities make good use of the peer-review process (individuals checking each other) to achieve quality on the basis of a meritocracy.

No mechanism is fool-proof, with bad reporting, incompetency and self-delusion among many individual contributors diminishing the quality of the solutions.

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It is now more accessible due to the internet and to get optimal results, there has to be certain checks and balances:

  • Members of the crowd should not be the ones forming and framing a question.
  • Answers should be limited to a single number or a multiple-choice answer.
  • Complex problems with unknown outcomes are the ‘Fourth Quadrant’ and should not be solved by crowds.

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