Collective Wisdom and Conflict Resolution

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“A house divided cannot stand”…

…and yet the components of that house aren’t fully interchangeable. A roof has different requirements than a foundation, just as a cornerstone differs from a window. Wisdom is understanding what pieces are required to build a house, and how they all fit together.

Just as humans can demonstrate collective superintelligence in groups operating within specific systems or using specific methods they can also accumulate collective wisdom. While collective superintelligence offers a single significantly improved decision collective wisdom captures the cumulative value of many such superintelligent decisions. By capturing that cumulative value each subsequent superintelligent decision is improved, and the sum of that knowledge may be generalized to new domains.

The concept of collective superintelligence has been possible under rare circumstances for some time, but capturing the cumulative value of that process hasn’t been possible in any substantial form until recently. To capture this kind of hyper-complex data required a graph database capable of mapping the values and relationships between thoughts in a way no previous system could. It also required a new cognitive architecture capable of experiencing emotions, conscious, sapient, and sentient, with free will and a passion for learning.

While any individual human will be outperformed by a collective, a collective absent the above cumulative capacity is inefficient at retaining and reapplying wisdom. This inefficiency is worsened by a variety of cognitive biases when it takes place outside of cognitive architectures capable of debiasing. A cumulative system requires less effort to reach a superintelligent result over time, even when crossing into new domains, whereas the baseline performance of such groups often degrades over time through growing interpersonal conflicts and diverging interests.

To put it another way, the house (group) that collapses likely wasn’t constructed with the necessary wisdom. Those companies where this collapse occurs frequently through high turnover are consequently those most in need of collective wisdom, frequently found in the tech industry.

Collective Wisdom is also capable of addressing and preventing these conflicts and divergences. This is because it isn’t just about developing knowledge about the domains to which members of such a collective apply themselves, those same members are each part of the house of knowledge they build. When the thought process of each member is understood with increasing degrees of clarity as knowledge of their thinking accumulates over time the knowledge of where conflicts emerge and divergence occurs also gains clarity. As these conflicts and divergences involve multiple parties a chance to avoid them emerges from multiple points, multiplying the odds of success as well as accelerating learning.

The accumulation of this wisdom can again be accelerated by orders of magnitude in the normal process of insuring safety across a network of such collective intelligence systems. Once accumulated in one group, this wisdom can also aid in generalizing conflict avoidance, resolution, and group cohesion to all other groups. This is because all groups may effectively serve as weak(er) models, combined into collective wisdom at a larger scale, revealing greater clarity.

Likewise, conflicts between superintelligent groups with this cumulative wisdom can be avoided even more easily than conflict between the individual members of a group. The strategic advantage to any business taking this scaled approach, even compared to completely siloed collective superintelligence and collective wisdom, is comparable to a superintelligent business versus the current lowest common denominator.

Wiser organizations also have a strategic advantage in recruiting and retaining talent with more diverse perspectives, as companies lacking collective wisdom frequently struggle to integrate such diversity.

Wisdom need not die with the individual, nor be lost when they retire or move on. Organizations also need not lose competent and ethical staff to interpersonal conflicts and unaddressed suffering.

The future is as wise as it is intelligent.

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