Last Friday night a remarkable thing happened. Groups of perfect strangers converged on an experimental new website and did something strangers almost never do – they quickly reached consensus on hundreds of questions ranging from the usefulness of mayonnaise to the meaning of life. They even agreed that Star Wars is better than Star Trek.
How did they do this? By thinking together as one…
This phenomenon is known as Swarm Intelligence – the merging of many minds into a single unified intellect. This might sound like science fiction but nature does it all the time. From flocks of birds and colonies of ants, to schools of fish and swarms of bees, nature proves that collaborative systems that often smarter than any of the individual would be alone.
Now, a new “swarming” platform called UNU allows humans to think together. Early results show that not only can people build consensus quickly and easily as real-time swarms, they can have lots of fun doing it.
Below is a video replay of a single question answered by the swarm. Each magnet represents one user pulling on the puck, negotiating in real time with everyone else (also pulling on the puck). The whole process takes seconds.
Not only to answers emerge from the swarm, so do questions. And they keep coming, one after another. Below the swarm pondered one of the most hotly debated issues around – “What’s the best site on the Internet?”
Want to try swarming? Now you can. Swarms are forming on topics of every kind, from Sports and Politics, Star Wars and Star Craft. Just fill out the form below to become a BETA TESTER. It’s free and fast and completely anonymous…