Few weeks back I attended Future Salon for the first time. It was by none other than Doug Engelbart and the topic was Collective IQ. I have to admit my mind has a bent for the collective word. Having been a past fan of Ayn Rand, collective word ring some negative bells in my mind. Essentially that every thing great comes from works of few genius beings. So I was more than anxious to hear great mind’s thoughts. Without surprise someone asked the same question during the talk. Discussion among the audience led to the idea – yes great ideas come from great minds but they always stand on the shoulders of giants. Ah.. simple thought but epiphany for me 😀

Doug’s talk was different from my biases on more oriented towards information mining. He talked about we have so much information on the internet – thousands of conversations going on, threaded discussions, hundreds of meeting documents among organizations, documents containing arguments and counter arguments etc. considering this can there be a system which can draw inference on some thing out of this information. In a simple scenario if 10 participants to a essay writing submitted their essays to this system can this system draw a conclusion out of these essays. Now scale this to hundreds of thousands of documents.