Years ago, I once thought about a question about the Internet: It's such a large network which far exceeds the total computing power of the human brain, but why are there no signs of intelligence? It was not until I began to learn about the AI principles that I realized it was impossible to generate advanced intelligence in the current state of the Internet.
One fundamental question is whether a large enough complex network or group can generate intelligence. Note that the networks or groups here are broadly defined, from ant colonies, bee colonies, fish schools, neuron groups in the human brain, to chipsets composed of the Internet(include the Internet of Things).
The answer is no or not sure. Intelligence emerges in an orderly system. This ordering is not simply to put individual units together, but requires individual units in a group to respond to changes in the state of the group (or the surrounding environment) simply but regularly, and individual units must have certain obedience and consistency to the group.
For example, when human brain neurons receive signals from other brain neurons, they will generate new electrical pulses as long as the signal intensity exceeds their threshold. The same is true for ants or bees, which behave relatively steadily based on pheromones left by their peers.
In a group, when the proportion of abnormal individuals reaches a certain threshold, the behavior of the entire group will change dramatically. This is the main reason of human epilepsy. If many neurons in a person's brain fail to respond or randomly produce random signals every time they receive a signal, the person is also not far from neurological disorder.
So, why can't the Internet generate intelligence at the moment? I think this is because various IT devices on the Internet cannot make simple but regular responses. When we send certain information to a computer, in most cases it just returns a fixed response prompting you that the data is malformed, or that there's no response at all. In this case, no highly dynamic order or intelligence can be generated. Suppose the computer manufacturers decide to add some small features to network cards, such as returning a specific value for a fixed value, there may will show some interesting phenomena.
The intelligence of human society
Similarly, human society needs to educate everyone constantly, using common ethics, beliefs, knowledge, laws, and so on, so that everyone acts on the same basis as the vast majority of people. If this identity collapses in a society, the society will fall into chaos and split up. All the complex systems that produce emergent phenomena need to maintain a certain degree of consistency in the behavior of individual units, which is also the basic social order pursued by the Dorderism.
Compared with the Internet, human society has more dynamic order, but the corresponding chaos is also more, and it is unable to form a stable dynamic order, so it is difficult to say that it is intelligent. So I personally don't agree with the idea that human society has its own intelligence, but perhaps the entire biosphere can be understood as a living thing.