Swarm Intelligence

- revisited?

There are no simple answers – network phenomena and emergent behaviour are notoriously difficult to grasp, especially not by simple graph-measures (like equalling mere node-degree with importance). The conditions under which the many outwit the few -aeeh- experts seem to be rather fragile. That social networks have an influence on the wisdom-of-the-crowd effect is a rather surprising result nevertheless: this article by Lorentz et al. in PNAS states “that even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect in simple estimation tasks.”. Furthermore “Examples of the revealed mechanism range from misled elites to the recent global financial crisis”. And I always thought the latter was a consequence of the former.

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