Why We Can Improve Humanity With the Power of Bees

The Cracked Podcast #128 June 20, 2016

We have a lot of phrases for describing large groups of humans, and none of them are good. We fear the mob mentality and use words like ‘herd’ or ‘sheep’ to describe how dumb we can get in big groups. But what if there were a way to harness our collective intelligence and use it to amplify our best qualities instead of our worst?

That’s what Louis Rosenberg did when he founded Unanimous AI, a company that looked at how swarms of bees make decisions, and developed a program to allow humans to make decisions and predictions in the same way. Instead of voting, decisions are made as a collective.

Okay, but what do you do with this, you ask? Using swarm intelligence, Unanimous AI was able to predict the Kentucky Derby, the Oscars and routinely beats Las Vegas oddsmakers when predicting sports like hockey and football.

Rightly amazed by this awesome new superpower, Jack O’Brien chats with Louis about how his technology works, how it was modeled off the behavior of honey bees, and the surprising things it found about human morality.

Footnotes:

Francis Galton, ‘Vox Populi’: http://goo.gl/4TMOAL 

The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki: https://goo.gl/4ULXJQ 

Wisdom of the Crowd: Myths and Realities: http://goo.gl/nBVpZb

UNU Publications: http://goo.gl/op1MWX

This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron and Casper Mattresses.

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