Power through Things: Following Traces of Collective Intelligence in Internet of Things

Monika Mačiulienė


Purpose – it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the input Internet of Things (IoT) has to offer in development of public, business and other societal structures. Therefore, paper seeks to determine the current state of knowledge in the field of IoT terms of wisdom creation and emergence of collective intelligence. First, we discuss concept of collective intelligence, then we define phenomena of IoT and identify areas of its application. Later, the author reviews how intelligent outputs of IoT are defined in scientific literature. These findings of theoretical investigation may shed some light on research field that is promising but still very vague.

Design/methodology/approach – this article provides a general overview of IoT concept and its growing relation to collective intelligence. Methods of document analysis and content analysis were applied. Theoretical analysis enabled recognition of IoT phenomena in relation to wisdom creation and emergence of collective intelligence.

Findings – general overview of the field revealed that new understanding of collective intelligence surfaces. Often intelligent behavior and decisions emerge from ever increasing cooperation between ‘things’ and humans. The variety of new concepts and authors trying to describe relationship of ‘things’ with each other and humans when creating intelligent outcomes revealed that this field is still in its very infancy and still needs considerable amount of industry and scientific efforts to be understood and executed.

Research limitations – although the paper has successfully demonstrated that IoT provides vast amounts of data for people to process and create knowledge this could be considered only as initial phase in studying the field. IoT and its intelligent outcomes need more investigations in terms of real life case studies and industry reviews in order to create valid definitions, models and future guidelines. 

Practical implications – this study provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of Internet of Things and could be used as theoretical background for further analysis of emergence of collective intelligence in interactive networks of people and things.

Value – to date there has been little research summarizing scientific efforts in the field of IoT. This paper provides general overview of the knowledge on IoT and could be used as guidelines for further research.

Keywords: Internet of Things, Collective Intelligence, Wisdom.

Research type: General overview.


Internet of Things; Collective Intelligence; Wisdom

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/ST-14-4-1-11


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