Usually, collective intelligence defines the cognitive abilities of a community resulting from multiple interactions between its members (or agents). Applying this definition to the virtual community on the Internet considered as ultimate cognitive media, new capabilities are resulting from the interaction between users. These extended human agents by the Internet technology, and varied behavior, may perform unexpected and complex cognitive tasks, with a fundamental mechanism called synergy.
Thus, the collective intelligence on the Internet is defined by the Canadian philosopher Pierre Lévy as “the project of a varied intelligence, distributed everywhere, constantly valued, coordinated and synergised in real time, which leads to an effective mobilization knowledge “. Collective intelligence is composed of “grains of thought” mixed by new digital technologies, and combine to form a superconsciousness.
However , members of the online community have only partial perception of the virtual environment in which they are immersed, and are not aware of all the elements that influence the group interaction. But under certain conditions, the synergy created by the collaboration is the emergence of creative cognition and learning greater than isolated individuals. The study of collective intelligence on the Internet involves also the study of psycho-social effects of interactions between members of a group of users in virtual situation.
Translated and adapted from Wikipedia under GNU Free Documentation License.