Swarm Intelligence (SI) is the property of a system whereby the collective behaviors of (unsophisticated) entities interacting locally with their environment cause coherent functional global patterns to emerge. SI provides a basis with wich it is possible to explore collective (or distributed) problem solving without centralized control or the provision of a global model. To tackle the formation of a coherent social collective intelligence from individual behaviors, we discuss several concepts related to Self-Organization, Stigmergy and Social Foraging in animals. Then, in a more abstract level we suggest and stress the role played not only by the environmental media as a driving force for societal learning, as well as by positive and negative feedbacks produced by the many interactions among agents. Finally, presenting a simple model based on the above features, we will adress the collective adaptation of a social community to a cultural (environmenatl, contextual) or media informational dynamical landscape, represented here - for the purpose of different experiments - by several three-dimensional mathematical functions that suddenly change over time. Results indicate that the collective intelligence is able to cope and quickly adapt to unforseen situations even when over the same cooperative foraging period, the community is requested to deal with two different and contradictory purposes.
http://alfa.ist.utl.pt/~cvrm/staff/vramos/ref_58.html, CVRM-IST 127E-2005 technical report, final draft submitted to Brains, Minds & Media, Journal of New Media in Neural and Cognitive Science, NRW, Germany, 2005.