Dear John P. and FIS Colleagues,

Thanks for the kickoff text. It a discussion on new themes that only 
occasionally and very superficially has surfaced in this list. 
Intelligence, the information flow in organizations, distributed 
knowledge, direct crowd enlistment in scientific activities... It sounds 
rather esoteric, but in the historical perspective the phenomenon is far 
from new. Along the biggest social transformations, the "new information 
orders" have been generated precisely by new ways to circulate 
knowledge/information across social agents--often kept away from the 
previous informational order established. In past years, when the 
initial Internet impact was felt, there appeared several studies on 
those wide historical transformations caused by the arrival of new 
social information flows --O'Donnell, Hobart & Schiffman, Lanham, Poe...

But there is a difference, in my opinion, in the topic addressed by John 
P., it is the intriguing, more direct involvement of software beyond the 
rather passive, underground role it generally plays.  "Organizational 
processes frozen into the artifact--though not fossilized". Information 
Technologies are producing an amazing mix of new practices and new 
networkings that generate growing impacts in economic activities, and in 
the capability to create new solutions and innovations. So, the three 
final questions are quite pertinent. In my view, there exist the 
collective intelligence phenomenon, innovation may indeed benefit from 
this new info-crowd turn,  and other societal changes  are occurring 
(from new forms of social uprising  and revolt, to the detriment of the 
"natural info flows" --conversation--, an increase of individual 
isolation, diminished happiness indicators, etc.)

Brave New World? Not yet, but who knows...

best ---Pedro

 Prpic wrote:
> ON COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: The Future of IT-Mediated Crowds
> John Prpić 
> Beedie School of Business
> Simon Fraser University
> Software (including web pages and mobile applications etc) is the key 
> building block of the IT field in terms of human interaction, and can be 
> construed as an artifact that codifies organizational process “…in the form 
> of software embedded “routines” (Straub and Del Guidice 2012). These 
> organizational processes are frozen into the artifact, though not fossilized, 
> since the explicit codification that executes an artifact can be readily 
> updated when desired (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001, Yoo et al. 2012). 
> A software artifact always includes “a setting of interaction” or a user 
> interface, for example a GUI or a DOS prompt (Rogers 2004), where human 
> beings employ the embedded routines codified within the artifact (including 
> data) for various purposes, providing input, and receiving programmed output 
> in return. The setting of interaction provides both the limits and 
> possibilities of the interaction between a human being and the artifact, and 
> in turn this “dual-enablement” facilitates the functionality available to the 
> employ of a human being or an organization (Del Giudice 2008). This 
> structural view of artifacts (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001) informs us that “IT 
> artifacts are, by definition, not natural, neutral, universal, or given” 
> (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001), and that “IT artifacts are always embedded in 
> some time, place, discourse, and community” (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001).
> Emerging research and our observation of developments in Industry and in the 
> Governance context signals that organizations are increasingly engaging 
> Crowds through IT artifacts to fulfill their idiosyncratic needs. This new 
> and rapidly emerging paradigm of socio-technical systems can be found in 
> Crowdsourcing (Brabham 2008), Prediction Markets (Arrow et al. 2008), Wikis 
> (Majchrzak et al. 2013), Crowdfunding (Mollick 2013), Social Media (Kietzmann 
> et al 2011), and Citizen Science techniques (Crowston & Prestopnik 2013).  
> Acknowledging and incorporating these trends, research has emerged 
> conceptualizing a parsimonious model detailing how and why organizations are 
> engaging Crowds through IT in these various substantive domains (Prpić & 
> Shukla 2013, 2014). The model considers Hayek's (1945) construct of dispersed 
> knowledge in society, as the antecedent condition (and thus the impetus too) 
> driving the increasing configuration of IT to engage Crowds, and further 
> details that organizations are doing so for the purposes of capital creation 
> (knowledge & financial). 
> However, as might be expected, many questions remain in this growing domain, 
> and thus I would like to present the following questions to the FIS group, to 
> canvas your very wise and diverse views.
> Is there such a thing as Collective Intelligence? 
> How does IT effect the existence or non-existence of Collective Intelligence? 
> -
> -
> -
> How do national innovation systems (and thus policy too) change when we 
> consider IT-mediated crowds as the 4th Helix of innovation systems? 
> -
> Does the changing historical perception of crowds signal other societal 
> changes? 
> -

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)

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