MIT Sloan book named “Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice magazine


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 1, 2017––The MIT Sloan School of Management recently announced that the Handbook of Collective Intelligence, edited by MIT Sloan Prof. Thomas Malone and MIT Engineering School alumnus Michael Bernstein, was selected by Choice magazine as an “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2016. The book examines the emergence of a new kind of collective intelligence: interconnected groups of people and computers, collectively doing intelligent things. Highlighting the latest research and challenges, the book’s essays lay the foundation for a new multidisciplinary field that includes computer science, biology, economics, and psychology.

“It is an honor that this book was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title. Our primary goal was to address researchers, but the book also introduces the field for a broad audience of other interested readers,” says Malone, who is director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.

This year’s Choice list includes 494 books and electronic resources selected from over 5,400 titles reviewed by the magazine, and out of more than 25,000 titles submitted to the magazine in all fields. Outstanding Academic Titles represent “the best of the best” publications during a given year, and are selected for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important treatments of their subject.

The Handbook of Collective Intelligence begins with a chapter by Malone and Bernstein defining the field of collective intelligence with suggestions for how it relates to many other fields. “This is an especially timely topic today because new information technologies for communication and artificial intelligence are making it possible to create new kinds of collective intelligence in business, government, science, and many other areas,” says Malone.

He notes, “One of the intriguing promises of this new field is that it brings together ideas from disciplines that might not otherwise have been connected. For instance, there is a chapter in the book about animal collective intelligence, such as in ant colonies and bee hives, and there’s a chapter about collective intelligence in financial markets.”

Additional essays in the book describe work on collective intelligence in particular disciplines like human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence, cognitive and social psychology, and organization theory. The book also includes topics like the “wisdom of crowds” effect and the legal and sociological implications of Wikipedia.

In addition to Malone and Bernstein, other authors include MIT Sloan Prof. Andrew Lo as well as Eytan Adar, Ishani Aggarwal, Yochai Benkler, Jeffrey P. Bigham, Jonathan Bragg, Deborah M. Gordon, Benjamin Mako Hill, Christopher H. Lin, Mausam, Brent Miller, Aaron Shaw, Mark Steyvers, Daniel S. Weld, and Anita Williams Woolley. The Handbook of Collective Intelligence was published by The MIT Press.

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