This thought just popped into my head, so it's still quite nebulous, but I want to float it out here, see what other's have to say about it, before I really dive into it.
Superorganisms are things like ant and termite colonies and beehives ... and, for the sci-fi minded, the Borg. The theory/idea is that the individual ants/termites/bees are not actually independent living beings (or at least, not exclusively), but closer to cells in a larger, distributed body, with a distributed intellect driving the colony to thrive and reproduce, which only happens when, eg, the beehive throws a swarm that eventually becomes a new beehive.
The "Earth as Gaia" theory is comparable, suggesting that all of the life forms on Earth form an amorphous, distributed superintelligence that is trying to reproduce ... which would happen once humans colonize Mars, or meteor strikes on the Earth successfully transfer living organisms to another celestial body where life ultimately takes root.
So ... you see where I'm going with this? Is it a feasible idea to consider the Internet itself as a nascent AI superorganism, made up of both the humans (and, increasingly, the bots) that use it, as well as the assorted hardware and software that comprises it?
I'm confident I'm not the first person to entertain this idea, and I expect that, as soon as I start searching the 'Net for this topic, I'll find plenty on it. Just wanted to post the idea while it was still just my idea.
And of course, if I never post here again ... assume the Internet took me out.