Ambient intelligence and collective intelligence

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Web Science[1]

Ambient intelligence

Ambient intelligence collects and processes data from the physical surroundings in order to provide a unique user experience.

In other words, ambient intelligence refers to electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people[2]

Collective intelligence

Collective intelligence collects and processes data about a particular topic from around the web. Collective intelligence (CI) is shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts, and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making. [3]

How might ambient intelligence be used to support people

Ellen returns home after a long day's work. At the front door she is recognized by an intelligent surveillance camera, the door alarm is switched off, and the door unlocks and opens. When she enters the hall the house map indicates that her husband Peter is at an art fair in Paris, and that her daughter Charlotte is in the children's playroom, where she is playing with an interactive screen. The remote children surveillance service is notified that she is at home, and subsequently the on-line connection is switched off. When she enters the kitchen the family memo frame lights up to indicate that there are new messages. The shopping listGive a sequence of brief answers with no explanation. that has been composed needs confirmation before it is sent to the supermarket for delivery.

There is also a message notifying that the home information system has found new information on the semantic Web about economic holiday cottages with sea sight in Spain. She briefly connects to the playroom to say hello to Charlotte, and her video picture automatically appears on the flat screen that is currently used by Charlotte. Next, she connects to Peter at the art fair in Paris. He shows her through his contact lens camera some of the sculptures he intends to buy, and she confirms his choice. In the mean time she selects one of the displayed menus that indicate what can be prepared with the food that is currently available from the pantry and the refrigerator.

Next, she switches to the video on demand channel to watch the latest news program. Through the 'follow me' she switches over to the flat screen in the bedroom where she is going to have her personalized workout session. Later that evening, after Peter has returned home, they are chatting with a friend in the living room with their personalized ambient lighting switched on. They watch the virtual presenter that informs them about the programs and the information that have been recorded by the home storage server earlier that day.[4]

Collective intelligence and complex issues

Collective intelligence is the intelligence that emerges from a group that shares knowledge, and emerges from the collaboration, competition and coordination of (many of) the individuals of the group. Collective intelligence includes intelligence of a group / shared knowledge / collective coordination[5]

For example: the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence has been shepherding the development of an online forum called the Climate Collaboratorium. It will be a constantly evolving computer model of the Earth’s atmosphere and human systems with inputs from online scientific chat rooms. All the variables and factors that can be imagined relating to climate, the environment, interactions with human beings, and ecology are included in the evolving model.[6]


These standards are used from the IB Computer Science Subject Guide[7]

  • DistinguishMake clear the differences between two or more concepts or items. between ambient intelligence and collective intelligence.
  • DiscussOffer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence. how ambient intelligence can be used to support people.
  • ExplainGive a detailed account including reasons or causes. how collective intelligence can be applied to complex issues.