Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a new concept, but it is only in recent years […]
Superminds: How humans and machines can work together
MIT professor Thomas Malone on human-computer collective intelligence and the future of work
We naturally think of “intelligence” as a trait belonging to individuals. We’re all—students, employees, soldiers, artists, athletes—regularly evaluated in terms of personal accomplishment, with “lone hero” narratives prevailing in accounts of scientific discovery, politics, and business. Similarly, artificial intelligence is typically defined as a quest to build individual machines that possess different forms of intelligence, even the kind of general intelligence measured in humans for more than a century.
Yet focusing on individual intelligence, whether human or machine, can distract us from the true nature of accomplishment. As Thomas Malone, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and director of its Center for Collective Intelligence notes: “Almost everything we humans have ever done has been done not by lone individuals, but by groups of people working together, often across time and space.”
Malone, the author of 2004’s The Future of Work and a pioneering researcher in the field of collective intelligence, is in a singular position to understand the potential of AI technologies to transform workers, workplaces, and societies. In this conversation with Deloitte’s Jim Guszcza and Jeff Schwartz, he discusses a vision outlined in his recent book Superminds—a framework for achieving new forms of human-machine collective intelligence and its implications for the future of work.