Sorry that I’m answering so late. I find Medium’s notifications a bit confusing, and sometimes I don’t realise in time that there was a comment on an article.
You are right about that effect. It’s known as “emergence.” The idea is: Sometimes complex systems are made up of many parts that interact according to specific rules (like the systems you name). Such systems often show new behaviours as a whole that cannot be sufficiently explained or predicted if one knows only about the properties of the parts. Or, more catchy: The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Here are two interesting papers looking deeper into the phenomenon:
Thanks and best wishes! — A.