The text provided a first exposition of the conceptual framework developed in ECCO as a foundation for an eventual global brain theory. It sees the global brain as a nervous system for the planetary organism, which functions to direct and coordinate all the activity performed by the organism’s components—conceived here as (human and artificial) agents. This coordination emerges via the mechanism of self-organization, based on the propagation of challenges from agent to agent. Any medium that facilitates such directed propagation, such as the Internet, the web, Wikipedia, or Facebook, increases the ability of the agents to collaboratively solve problems, and therefore their collective intelligence. The discussion concluded with the need to develop a (preferably mathematical) model of challenge propagation, which would help us to understand, anticipate and optimize this process of distributed coordination, and therefore the development of a global brain. But this can only be achieved by a sufficiently large group of dedicated researchers with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds.
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