Since the 1980s, the Santa Fe Institute has championed the investigation of collective behavior and intelligence in diverse systems, from cell tissues to animal societies to human organizations and robot swarms. This fall, two of SFI’s faculty will help launch Collective Intelligence, a new transdisciplinary open journal entirely devoted to this fruitful area of research.
The initiative strives to address the frustration felt by academics and non-academics alike to find a home for work that doesn’t fit in traditional disciplinary journals. Accordingly, Collective Intelligence will welcome contributions from computer science, physics, biology, mathematics, economics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and political science, as well as from non-academic practitioners. Publications will include commentaries outlining potential impacts for practice or research, with the aim of fostering regular dialogue between cultures of research and practice.
SFI Professor Jessica Flack is one of the journal’s four Founding Editors, along with SFI External Professor Scott Page at the University of Michigan. “One of the unique features of this journal,” Flack recently reported, “is we aim to have foundational theory and empirical/experimental papers, as well as case studies of collective intelligence principles implemented in practice, on human, hybrid Human/AI teams, and nanobot/robot teams.”
According to the editors’ vision statement, Collective Intelligence “embraces a policy of creative rigour…to facilitate discovery of principles that apply across scales and new ways of harnessing the collective to improve social, ecological and economic outcomes.” In that spirit, the new journal will support experiments and theory papers, essays and book reviews, as well as speculative perspective pieces, case studies, and novel paper formats. New unifying insights demand new methods and new approaches to communication, so Collective Intelligence will also experiment with nontraditional mechanisms for presenting and critiquing scientific knowledge and insights.
The online-only journal will be co-owned by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and SAGE Publishing with support from and in collaboration with the innovation foundation Nesta. Panos Ipeirotis (New York University) and Geoff Mulgan (University College London) join Flack and Page as Founding Editors. The team, in collaboration with Thomas Malone (Center for Collective Intelligence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), has mustered an impressive list of Associate Editors and Editorial Board members to help shape this emerging field. They welcome contact from researchers who would bring new voices and perspectives to the Collective Intelligence community. Interested scholars can reach Flack and Page on Twitter at @C4Computation and @Scott_E_Page, respectively.