Wikipedia acts a bit like one big brain, its editors working independently, yet somehow together performing an enormous cooperative computation, according to Science News article about Simon DeDeo's research.
"DeDeo really wants to divine ... driving rules for a wide variety of social systems," writes Julie Rehmeyer. "But Wikipedia made an especially good target for an initial stab at the questions because it makes so much data available, recording every last edit. DeDeo’s challenge was to figure out how to get a handle on the emergent dynamics, not just the individual behavior of editors."
Read the article in Science News (August 30, 2013)
Read DeDeo’s paper on Arxiv (December 18, 2012)
Read the article about DeDeo's work from the SFI Update newsletter