Seminar: Daniel Polani, University of Hertfordshire
On Informational Principles in the Perception-Action Loop
Feb 23, 2012
from 04:30 PM to 05:30 PM
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Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety (1956) and, in last years, especially its later rediscovery and extension by Touchette and Lloyd (2000, 2004) have indicated that Shannon information acts as fundamental "currency" constraining the potential organisation and "administration" of cognitive tasks. Interestingly, there are indications that organisms seem to exploit the available constraints to a significant extent.
This opens up a perspective where it might not be essential to have a detailed picture of cognitive mechanisms to understand the core requirements for information processing by organisms or bio-inspired agents. Instead, one can use informational principles to model various aspects of the information processing dynamics of agents/organisms with a minimum of assumptions. By considering Shannon information flows in agents, one obtains invariants, variational principles, as well as candidates for adaptive and evolutionary drivers which help to understand how the information processing dynamics of the agent influences possible adaptive or evolutionary incentives, through physics and embodiment of the agent.
In my talk, I will give a brief introduction to the core ideas of the approach and a selective overview over some of the phenomena that can be described using the informational perspective, such as informational bounds for goal-directed behaviours, the role of embodiment, intrinsic motivation (RL-like behaviour without external rewards) and/or drivers for sensor evolution, salient behaviour generation, and others, depending on time and interest.