[28 January 2015] When Groups Know More than their Members Do: The Creation of Epistemic Group Agents and the Acquisition of Collective Knowledge

Spyridon Orestis Palermos
AHRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Edinburgh, EIDYN Centre, Extended Knowledge Project
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
Department of Philosophy

When Groups Know More than their Members Do: The Creation of Epistemic Group Agents and the Acquisition of Collective Knowledge

How do groups store, share, and generate knowledge? Moreover, can groups be intelligent agents in themselves, under which conditions, and what effects may this have on the previous set of questions? These are some of the questions I will address in this talk both from a philosophical and a cognitive science perspective while also considering concrete examples from the study of transactive memory systems (Wegner, Giuliano, & Hertel, 1985) and scientific research teams. In effect this will provide us with a clear grasp of the concepts of Group Knowledge and Epistemic Group Agents that we will then examine how to apply in the case of what Berners-Lee (Dertouzos, Berners-Lee, & Fischetti, 1999) calls ‘social machines’.

Feedback of the session

crag 28 january
Lecture Theatre
27 people were present
We gathered 11 feedback sheets

Most of the attendees were students
10% approx. were professionals from outside the university
10% were faculty professors or tutors

90% of the feedback sheets report that they enjoyed the meeting

Most interesting ideas of the evening according to attendants

– someone has quantified our human need for feedback to stimulate interaction
– the decline of active authorship in light of increased automation
– collaborative workflows, power of collective knowledge
– cognitve integration
– jazz bands improvising as distributed cognition
– the idea that a mechanism can administrate knowledge for communities
– there should have been more discussion on what is a ‘group’, how it is made and on what grounds
– wikipedia as a social machine

Posted in Crag seminar.

One Comment

  1. Hi, I will attend this talk it looks fascinating.
    I have signed up to Harold Jarache’s Personal Knowledge Mastery Course (details below) which I think you would be interested in. Would any CRAG member like to join me participating in the course?

    PKM is a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively. PKM means taking control of your professional development, and staying connected in the network era, whether you are an employee, self-employed, or between jobs.

    PKM in 40 Days — next online workshop begins 12 January 2015

    Personal – according to one’s abilities, interests & motivation.
    (not directed by external forces)
    Knowledge – understanding information and experience in order to act upon it.
    (know what, know who, know how)
    Mastery – the journey from apprentice to disciplined sense-maker and sharer of knowledge.
    (masters do not need to be managed)
    The active practice of PKM can help increase Connections, develop Meaning, and improve Autonomy; for any profession, vocation, or life style.

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