Collective Intelligence in Natural and Artificial Systems

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Workshop Dates

August 31 - September 2, 2021


Melanie Mitchell

Melanie Moses

Tyler Millhouse


This workshop is the third in a series of meetings at SFI on the foundations of intelligence, a project sponsored by the National Science foundation. Emergent behavior in groups of interacting agents is an important topic to many in the SFI community. Of particular interest for the proposed workshop is the capacity of groups (e.g., of people, of ants, or of machines) to exhibit intelligence. The workshop will bring together researchers who study collective intelligence in different ways and in different disciplines. The goal of the workshop is to gain insights into the nature of intelligence, to foster collaboration between researchers in collective intelligence, and to discover how an understanding of collective intelligence can advance AI and empower us to address important social and ethical challenges. Speakers will be asked to address the following questions:

• What is collective intelligence and what mechanisms enable it to emerge in systems as diverse as cells, brains, social insects, and human societies? How can an understanding of such mechanisms inform efforts towards collective intelligence in AI systems?

• How can an understanding of collective intelligence promote scientific or social efforts to address complex problems such as climate change, erosion of democracy, or epidemic control?

• What mechanisms can facilitate productive collaborative interactions between humans and machines? How can such interactions promote values such as fairness, particularly at large scale?