Examples of collective intelligence

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  1. ArmchairGM [1] is a promising extension of wiki with explicit user evaluation.
  2. Assignment Zero [2] We're covering a story: How the Web makes it possible for the crowd to be the source of good ideas. But instead of one journalist reporting, we've created a site where many people can work on the story, with editors as guides.
  3. BSD [3] project started in 1970s, became freely distributable in 1991. However, a lawsuit and an injunction from AT&T put its legal status in question until 1994 and reduced its impact on open-source development.
  4. Cairns [4] is graphical groupware designed to help those working collaboratively to evaluate and compare their own experiences and to search and learn from the experience of others. Cairns can help you to evaluate, design and manage your group project.
  5. Citizendium [5] is intended to avoid the errors, vandalism, and lack of accountability of Wikipedia. Citizendium's volunteer contributors will be expected to provide their real names. Experts in given fields will be asked to check articles for accuracy. See article in "USA Today" [http://www.usatoday.com/tech/webguide/2007-03-25-wikipedia-alternative_N.htm>.
  6. CVS [6] project created by Dick Grune in 1986 provided an important tool to aid collaborative software development: several people could edit the same set of files and commit versions independently. CVS keeps track of all changes and can revert unhelpful changes when needed. These features made CVS an important tool of open-source software development.
  7. Del.icio.us [7] is a web service that helps people organize, annotate, and share their bookmarks. It was created in late 2003, and mostly notable for its well developed social tagging system and, recently, tools for building content-centered social network. Users can subscribe to tags of other users, add people to their network, who tags pages of interest to them. The site uses the number of people who bookmarked a certain page as a measure of popularity and features the most popular pages to make even more people aware of them.
  8. Digg [8] is a news discovery service that integrates submissions and evaluations of many people to discover the most interesting news stories. Interestingness is measured by the frequency estimate of positive user feedback (diggs) that story recieved shortly after submission. The service was launched in 2004 in the US and received probably the most attention among services of this kind.
  9. Dmoz [9] (initially gnuhoo) was lauched in June 1998 as a web directory edited by volunteers rather than employees. The initial name was misleading in its gnu- part, because the similarity to GNU went only half-way: the project invited contributions of volunteers like in GNU, but, unlike GNU, the end results, both software and content, were proprietory to the company that provided the platform for collaboration. However, Dmoz might be the first in the long line of commercial web2.0 projects that derive their profit from contributions of volunteers and don't give their contributors a free license to use the created content.
  10. Donationcoder [10] is a donationware development website based on the concept of user innovation and crowdsourcing launched in March 2005. Users suggest what kind of software they would like to see implemented and how much they would be willing to donate to developers who decide to implement this functionality. This helps to identify the most useful projects, i.e. in which many users are interested. At some point, the total donation amount from all interested users may become sufficient to implement the software. This micro-finance practice was mostly limited to small projects. The idea was quickly adopted by others, for example, "cambrianhouse.com" [http://cambrianhouse.com>
  11. Experts Exchange [11] was one of the first knowledge markets on the web, structured as a Q&A service that allows any web user to answer questions. It was created in 1996 by Dan Gardner. The system provides a virtual currency to its participants to regulate the number and complexity of the questions asked and evaluate answers received. The asker of the question allocates a certain amount of points to the question. The question is published on the network and other participants can submit an answer. The asker then accepts or rejects the answer. On acceptance, the process is finished and the question is removed, otherwise it remains published to collect more answers. This project inspired many similar sites, among them Google Answers is probably the most notable.
  12. Foresight Exchange [12] is the first online prediction market, a market in which people invest for and against claims about future events. It was created in 1994 based on Robin Hanson's Idea Futures concept (1990).
  13. Free Knowledge Exchange [13] project is a knowledge market that combines intelligent abilities of many people to identify and solve their problems using evolutionary computation. The goal is to create an open community and a kind of collective intelligence that effectively helps every participant to be more successful in solving everyday problems. It was launched as a research project in May 1998 in Russia and may be the first online project to specifically explore collective intelligence by outsourcing intelligent operations to a large number of people (essentially what was later called "crowdsourcing"). The mechanism of this service was published in 2000-2002 in several research papers. Since then, the elements of this service were adopted by others. The most notable similar service is "Yahoo! Answers" [http://answers.yahoo.com>, launched by Yahoo! in December 2005 and currently the biggest service of this kind by the number of users.
  14. Global Public Health Information Network [14] - Combines computer-based search, translation and filtering software with human investigation committee to identify early warning signs of new epidemics and public health crises.
  15. GNU [15] project was started by Richard Stallman in 1984 with the goal to make software freely available to people. Free software allows many people to collaborate in software development: learn, reuse, modify, recombine, and adapt software to their needs. It enables open user innovation. But in order to achieve this goal, two major difficulties had to be dealt with: technical and legal. A free software development environment was necessary to produce free software. A major legal innovation was needed to provide a legal basis for such an activity. GNU project provided free tools to developers as well as created several content licensing mechanisms providing a basis for collaborative creation of software and other works of authorship.
  16. Google [16] is a web search engine that evaluates web content based on aggregated implicit human evaluations contained in web references. It was created in September 1997 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The evaluation Google produces is known as the Google PageRank. It is based on the Markov chain model. The PageRank is essentially the share of the time that a web user will spend on the page by randomly following web references for a sufficiently long time.
  17. Innocentive [17] is a knowledge market established in 2001. It accepts R&D problems in chemistry and biology from the companies ("Seekers") and allows people ("Solvers") to contribute their solutions. After the deadline, the Seekers select the best solution and rewards it with a cash award, in a similar way as in Experts Exchange.
  18. Intermix [18] project created by Roger Eaton in 1988 introduced the idea of collective communication where people can write messages on any topic of concern and then rate each other's messages for interest and agreement, so messages important for community are identified and can be acted upon. A group can maintain a dialog with its leaders using these collective messages. It can seek advice from an individual outside the group, try to influence someone, direct the activities of volunteers or hired agents.
  19. IRC [19] project created by Jaarko Oikarinen in 1988 implemented distributed instant messaging medium. The messages are classified into channels that are analogous to USENET groups. However, a new channel can be created instantly for any topic unlike in USENET. Being real-time synchronous conversation tool, IRC offers most of the advantages of live conversation. It supports real-time dialogs, group discussions, question-answer and brainstorming sessions.
  20. Kiva.org > "" [http://www.kiva.org provides microfinancing to entrepreneurs in the under-developed/developing world by connecting them to lenders from the communities in the rest of the world, basically you and I. An agent or partner qualifies these applicants, then upload their loan application to Kiva.org's website, and anyone in the rest of the world may participate by selecting applicants to lend money to. An agent in Africa uses the collective intelligence of the village to qualify an applicant, by holding a town hall style meeting, where the people who know the applicant best provide input to the agent on whether the borrower will be good at the business and whether the applicant is a good business risk.
  21. Knowledge-iN [20] is a knowledge market service by Naver combined with a search engine. The Knowedge-iN service was launched in October 2002 in Korea, helping Naver to become a top web portal in Korea. The main difference from Free Knowledge Exchange seems to be the combination of Knowledge-iN with a search engine and a social network.
  22. Lima refinery improvement story - Example of integrating Interpersonal and Distributed forms of CI
  23. Linux [21] project was started by Linus Torvalds in 1991 to create a free operating system uninhibited by legal issues and produced it before the lawsuit about BSD was settled. As a result, GNU/Linux and not BSD became the major force behind the open-source movement. Linux development fully explored advantages of open innovation in software development and inspired many later projects.
  24. Mechanical Turk [22] is an Amazon.com-developed web site where people can advertise and perform "HITs" (human intelligence tasks) that are difficult for computers, but easy for humans (e.g. determining if there is a pizza parlor in a photograph). People get paid for performing HITs.
  25. OASIS [23] - a leading Open Standards development organization, OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. The consortium produces more Web services standards than any other organization along with standards for security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.
  26. Protégé [24] is an open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework developed (since 1985) by Stanford Medical informatics at the Stanford School of Medicine
  27. Slashdot [25] comment moderation and meta-moderation system powered by its readers (1999). "Imagine this would work like each comment would have some sort of score. Comments could be given points or have points removed based on how many people vote somehow." ("source" [http://features.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=98/09/17/175022>). "Think of a news site like Slashdot without a guy like me, or a group of guys at the center. One where the best comments become the articles on the homepage." ("source" [http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/03/23/1058204>).
  28. SourceForge [26] - the leading open source software community environment and repository
  29. StumbleUpon [27] is a web discovery service that integrates submissions and evaluations of many people to help them to discover quality content: news, photos, multimedia. Unlike most of the prior work in collaborative filtering using content relevance, StumbleUpon uses a more balanced approach combining peer endorsement with conceptual relevance. It also uses evolutionary computation to better match content to the interests of its users. This project was launched in February 2002 in Canada.
  30. Systems that get predictions from many to select the few who are good predictors ("PicksPal and Marketocracy" [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/18/AR2006101801883.html?referrer=emailarticle>)
  31. The "Ontolog" [28] Community of Practice - is an open, international, virtual community of practice devoted to advancing the field of ontological engineering and semantic technologies. Established in 2002, Ontolog (a.k.a. Ontolog Forum) advocates the adoption of ontologies (and ontological engineering methodologies) into mainstream applications and international standards.
  32. The AC/UNU "Millennium Project" [29] - is a global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. The Millennium Project commenced its work in 1992, and is currently managing a coherent and cumulative process that collects and assesses judgements from its 28 geographically dispersed nodes and hundreds of participant to produce the annual "State of the Future", "Futures Research Methodology" series, and other special studies and reports.
  33. TWiki [30] is an open source wiki software targeted at enterprise collaboration. The project was started in July 1998 by Peter Thoeny. It is notable for introducing RCS-based revision control to wiki in October 1998. Revisiion control turned out very important addition to wiki, as it provided for selection among different revision and easy elimination of unhelpful edits. TWiki also introduced the concept of structured wikis.
  34. USENET (USEr NETwork) was created in 1979 by Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis. USENET is a distributed message repository and communication medium, where messages are tagged by their authors using the names of the existing newsgroups. Being a precursor of the modern tagging system, USENET has extra advantage of being distributed, however creating a new tag/newsgroup is not as easy as in modern tagging systems.
  35. Wikinancial [31] is a website that allows an online community of users to share their stock picks for free. The goal of the site is to let investors backtest their strategies, and quotes are taken from Yahoo! Finance. Wikinancial ranks both members’ portfolios and stocks by their performance.
  36. Wikipedia [32] is a project creating a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit as a wiki. It was launched on January 15, 2001 using "UseModWiki" [33] software that was augmented with revision control and concurrent editing capability (between "December 9, 2000" [34] and "February 1, 2001" [http://web.archive.org/web/20010201193600/http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl>). It is not clear if these features were requested by founders of Wikipedia or their appearance was a lucky coincidence, but they turn out to be crucial to the success of Wikipedia. Apart from this, Wikipedia project introduced many novel features into wiki technology, among them: embedded images (January 2002), social tagging and parameterized templates (August 2004), permalinks (October 2005), undo revison feature (January 2007). Wikipedia releases its content under GNU Free Document License (GFDL), that was drafted just one year before Wikipedia launch.
  37. WikiWikiWeb [35] is a web site allowing everyone to edit its pages. It was created in March 1995 by Ward Cunningham as a tool to collaboratively develop and maintain Portland Pattern Repository. Wiki is a simple idea that turned out very useful and influential. Being open-source both in its concept and implementation, it motivated many people to experiment with the software and contribute to the development of wiki technology.
  38. Windparken [36] is being used in the Netherlands to plan wind turbines. The wiki, extended with a Google Maps plugin, presents maps with proposed wind turbine locations. The goal is to decide on locations for 6000 3-MegaWatt turbines, enough to provide for all electricity in the Netherlands.
  39. Yahoo! Answers >, launched by Yahoo! in December 2005, is mainly notable due to its popularity and successful deployment worldwide. Yahoo! Answers was built as an English analog of the Korean "Knowledge-iN" [http://kin.naver.com project by Naver and very similar to it in many aspects, except for the name and language. Despite the lack of technological innovation, this is one of the recent successes of Yahoo, very well executed and received the most attention recently among this kind of services. It might be now the second most useful reference resource after the Wikipedia and well integrated into Yahoo! search.
  40. ChallengePost, http://www.challengepost.com, a Web-based clearinghouse for running contests like the Netflix Prize. For details, see this Wired.com article from 9/8/09: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/09/challengepost-a-public-clearinghouse-for-netflix-prize-like-contests.
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