Collective Knowledge

Knowledge From Users for Users

The term collective knowledge is used when a large number of individuals contribute their knowledge and skills to a group. This collective knowledge has a positive effect on the knowledge of the entire group. As a result, the decisions and assessments made by a large, generally heterogeneous group of people achieve results that can be compared with those of experts.

The use of collective knowledge is nothing new. It’s been cited as far back as the 1700s in the way we understand it today and back to Plato’s concept of a group mind. When studied it has been shown that this knowledge helps to overcome bias and increase overall intelligence or understanding. This is especially true when the collective is diverse. This can be seen with the crowd that clickworker offers. It includes people of various ethnicities, ages, education and more. The size of the crowd also plays a part, the larger it is, the more knowledge can be gained.

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Significance for Crowdsourcing

This phenomenon is important to crowdsourcing because it represents a large scope of tasks for crowdsourcing platforms. Companies no longer need experts for many tasks or assignments. They can outsource them to the respective platforms and still achieve a high-quality result similar to that of an expert. This not only benefits the company but the workers too. Whilst the company doesn’t have to headhunt or recruit and pay an expert the workers too will not need to have very high or specific qualifications or experience. Yet the results can be the same leading to new ideas and processes being put into place.

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How Collective Knowledge Helps

Collective knowledge can help more than people realise. It is common for people and even animals to use their collective knowledge to come to conclusions and research ideas. This use of collective wisdom and intelligence is seen across all spectrums and cultures due to people wanting to make life more enjoyable through understanding one another. When applied in a business sense, however, it becomes even more powerful. It has been proven that many problems that require cognition and cooperation are best solved by large groups. It’s found that the group’s ideas and answers excel those of an expert. Harnessing this knowledge means that it can be applied to cutting-edge research and development in many areas such as AI, health care, conflict resolution, seeking diverse experiences and more.

Examples and Applications

Collective knowledge has been applied in many different ways. These include:

  • Estimates: Such as the probability of success of an idea or the weight of something. An average value is given via the estimations of the crowd.
  • Opinions: This is usually seen in the format of simple ratings of ideas, products or issues.
  • Ideas and Answers: Here the crowd can collectively produce ideas such as designs and answers to equations and in the case of Clickworkers they can provide answers that AI isn’t yet able to.
  • Collective Knowledge and AI

    Some are critical of AI and say that this collective wisdom should be preferred over anything artificial. However, as many know, AI is helping us in many ways. Collective intelligence or knowledge can step in when AI can’t manage something. However, companies such as clickworker not only use crowdsourcing to bring this knowledge together but to train AI. Massive amounts of data can be collected by the crowd via tasks. This is then used for machine learning algorithms. These algorithms can be used to teach AI how to make a process automated. This is especially useful when applied to applications that can make our lives easier and safer.