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Scott Page CSE Lecture

2010-2011 CSE Lecture Series


Title: The Wisdom (and Madness) of Crowds

Dr. Scott E. Page
Center for the Study of Complex Systems
University of Michigan

Date:  October 12, 2010
Time:  9:00 am
Room: 1279 Anthony Hall

Host: Philip McKinley 

The success of markets and democracies requires accurate societal level predictions of prices and policy outcomes. Evidence suggests that collections of people can make far more accurate forecasts than individuals.  Yet, experience tells us that crowds sometimes completely miss the mark - recall the recent home mortgage crises.

In this talk, Professor Page describes how political scientists and economists explain collective intelligence using a statistical model, and how computer scientists explain ensemble accuracy through different filters that highlight distinct features of a situation.  He then shows how combining the two models leads deeper insights about collective intelligence and lack thereof.  He concludes with a discussion of how incentives may or may not produce the conditions necessary for wise crowds.

Scott E. Page is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He currently serves as Director of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems and is an External Faculty Member of the Santa Fe Institute. With John H. Miller, he is the author of the book, Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life. Dr. Page received his PhD in Managerial Economics & Decisions Sciences from Northwestern University in 1993.