The term collective intelligence was introduced by the media scholar, philosopher, and cultural theorist Pierre Lèvy in the mid-1990s, at a time when the Internet, and digital communications generally, had only recently been developed and were undergoing exponential growth. It refers to a form of universally distributed intelligence, coordinated in real time and constantly being enhanced. According to Lèvy, collective intelligence generates and mobilizes skills through the use of communication systems which provide users of delocalized communities with means, with environments to coordinate their interactions toward collective endeavors within the same virtual environment. Collective intelligence refers thus to skills and interactions; it is a term which embraces the abilities, the capacities, and the possibilities that citizens have individually to achieve collective aims.

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