Collective Intelligence and Crowds Minitrack

This minitrack is open to analysis of collective intelligence, new sociotechnical configuration of knowledge creation, and crowdsourcing. Included also is the analysis of social interaction as a way of describing underlying social structure, and in particular the social construction of identity and roles. Thus the minitrack invites a range of content areas that lend themselves to the analysis of relations between people, collectives, and machines, as well as the products produced as a result of these sociotechnical relations.

We live surrounded by socially constructed identities – organizations, nations, websites – all of which are constituted through a complex interplay of interactions, a kind of distributed cognition. To allow for these collectives to evolve, it is necessary to have not only a representation in an individual’s mind but also the knowledge that similar representations exist in the minds of others. The way we can create shared representations have changed with the proliferation of a wide range of Internet platforms. These Internet platforms allow people to aggregate knowledge from socially distant areas. They also allow diverse groups of people – and maybe machines in the form of artificial intelligences – to negotiate identities. With these socio-technical configurations we can build collective intelligences that themselves will steer the quest for knowledge. These collectives can be self-catalyzing, deciding individually or collaboratively what to do next, out of which novel and practical ideas emerge.

While these open design collectives rely on organic growth and slow embedding of members in the network, alternative structures based on crowds can be assembled more rapidly. Between the two extremes are a host of different organizational and social structures, in which committed members of a community create, improve, and share ideas. The output of these socio-technical systems often takes the form of digital media, and their traces are varied, ranging from ephemeral short messages to curated collaborative knowledge repositories.

We are interested in 1) papers that observe, analyze, or visualize these socio-technical structures and their outputs; 2) papers that analyze the phenomena of crowdsourcing, collective intelligence and collaborative mass knowledge production; 3) design research that creates and evaluates new tools and processes; and 4) papers that simulate the production processes and outcomes through software.

We are looking for papers about the mechanisms that explain the emergence of collective identity. Particularly we are open to papers that explore unusual ways of modeling emergent organizations: models that demonstrate or reflect the influence of social systems on user behaviors, models that consider the multiple connections between people, technology, and institutions, models of technological and social affordances, models that break personal identity into sub-relations, models that examine the emergence of roles, identity, and institutions, as well as socio-technical models of deviance and disruption. We are interested in applying the ideas of James March, Mark Granovetter, Harrison White, Charles Tilly and related scholars to information systems.

In sum, the content of the minitrack is open to analysis of collective intelligence, new sociotechnical configuration of knowledge creation, and crowdsourcing. Included also is the analysis of social interaction as a way of describing underlying social structure, and in particular the social construction of identity and roles. Thus the track is open to a wide range of content areas that lend themselves to the analysis of relations between people, collectives, and machines, as well as the products produced as a result of these sociotechnical relations.

We are looking for papers that analyze collective intelligence, knowledge creation, and crowdsourcing. We also encourage the submission of papers that design and implement technologies that create new kinds of collectives. In addition, we invite papers that analyze social interaction as a way of better understanding the underlying social structures, and in particular the social construction of identity and roles. In sum, we are open to a wide range of research that addresses relations between people, collectives, and machines, as well as the products produced as a result.


Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Pnina Fichman (Primary Contact)
Indiana University, Bloomington
Email: Fichman@indiana.edu

Jeffrey Nickerson
Stevens Institute of Technology
Email: jnickerson@stevens.edu

Donald Steiny
Institute for Social Network Analysis of the Economy
Email: steiny@steiny.com

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