The focus on collective intelligence appears to have been inspired by a number of indications that the internet is transforming the ability of people to work together, and enabling new forms of collaboration. CCI’s literature specifically cites Google, Wikipedia, and Innocentive as examples of new forms of collective accomplishment, and they have appointed Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia and the CEO of Innocentive to their board. Their Handbook of Collective Intelligence, which attempts to both define the field and provide a moving snapshot of its current state of knowledge is, in fact, a Wiki.
Read this article from Ars Technica and visit the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence online (including their online handbook). Previously from WNM: Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism and Groupthink, Loafing and the romance of teams. Questioning the emphasis on collaboration.