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Collective intelligence for decision support in very large stakeholder networks: The future US energy system.

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5 Author(s)
Steen Rasmussen ; Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos NM 87545, USA; Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe NM 87501, USA. +1-505-665-0052, ; Diana Mangalagiu ; Hans Ziock ; Johan Bollen
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Pick your favorite complex societal issue. For example, how could the US government, its citizens, and its energy companies reach an acceptable future national US energy plan? How could such a complex problem even be approached in a rational and transparent manner? We discuss a recently developed Internet-based method for clarifying issues, providing insights into understanding causes of conflict in large stakeholder groups facing complex issues, and reaching consent. This method has been tested on a variety of complex social and technical issues that illustrate how the Internet can be used to harness the collective intelligence of large stakeholder groups. This work further shows how to positively influence the capability of large stakeholder networks to make more informed decisions. As our main objective, we outline the key open research questions for applying Internet based collective intelligence methods in very large stakeholder networks. As a case study we examine what it would take to develop "the lay of the land" of possibly millions of stakeholders for the possible future US energy systems. We discuss stakeholder access issues, inherent conflict of interest issues, as well as the necessary machine automation of the collective intelligence method to handle this scale of stakeholder involvement.

Published in:

2007 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life

Date of Conference:

1-5 April 2007