Dear Colleagues,

Relating information with intelligence seems to me important for several 
reasons. I will try to suggest that intelligence might be a good conceptual 
tool if we want to anchor our understanding of information and knowledge in the 
natural world. 
Yixin mentions the problem of three approaches to AI which exist independently, 
based on the methodological doctrine of "divide and conquer". We agree that 
"divide and conquer" is just not enough, it is the movement in one direction, 
and what is needed is the full cycle -bottom up and top down - if we are to 
understand biological systems. 

The appropriate model should be generative - it should be able to produce the 
observed behaviors, such as done by Agent Based Models (ABM) which includes 
individual agents and their interactions, where the resulting global behavior 
in its turn affects agents' individual behavior. Unlike static objects that 
result from a "divide and conquer" approach, agents in ABM are dynamic. They 
allow for the influence from bottom up and back circularly. Central for living 
organisms is the dynamics of the relationships between the parts and the whole.

Shannon's theory of communication is very successful in modeling communication 
between systems, but it is a theory that presupposes that communication exists 
and that mechanisms of communication are known. On the other hand if we want to 
answer the question why those systems communicate at all and what made them 
develop different mechanisms of communication we have to go to a more 
fundamental level of description where we find information processes and 
structures in biological systems. Natural computation such as described by 
Rozenberg and Kari in "The many facets of natural computing" includes information 
processing in living organisms.

Generative models of intelligence may be based on info-computational approach 
to the evolution of living systems. Three basic steps in this construction are 
as follows:
. The world on its basic level is potential information. 
(I agree with Guy on his information realism)
. Dynamics of the world is computation which in general is information 
processing (natural computationalism or pancomputationalism)
. Intelligence is a potential for (meaningful) action in the world. (I agree 
with Josph)

The minimal claim would be that there is no intelligence without information. 
For an agent, intelligence is the ability to face the world in a meaningful way 
and it increases with the number of different ways an agent is able to respond 
with. (This is a statistical argument: in a dynamical world, ability of an 
agent to respond to a change in several different ways increases its chances 
for survival.)
Back to the question of Raquel: can a simple organism be ascribed intelligence? 
- which Pedro suggests to answer in the positive by broadening the concept of 
intelligence. I agree with this proposed generalization for several reasons.

Maturana and Varela conflate life itself with cognition (to be alive is to 
cognize). Similarly, we can connect the development of life (towards more and 
more complex organisms) with intelligence (if an organism acts meaningfully in 
the world, we say it acts intelligently; meaningfulness has degrees and so has 
intelligence). In that approach intelligence would be the property of an 
organism which gives it a potential to develop increasingly more complex 
informational structures and increasingly more complex (meaningful) responses 
to the environment. One can argue that increasing the repertoire of meaningful 
responses (interactions with the world) increases agents potential for survival 
and success.

As a consequence this approach makes way for a basic quantitative measure of 
intelligence as a level of complexity of an organism providing the diversity of 
its responses.( Of course this measure of intelligence is not in the sense of 
IQ or specific individual's "smartness" but of the species increasing 
capability to flourish.)

This view also agrees with the understanding that even in humans there are 
several different intelligences - linguistic, logical, kinesthetic, naturalist, 
emotional, interpersonal, intrapersonal, spatial, musical, etc. If the 
complexity of the information processing structures and diversity of 
interactions with the environment are the measure, then plants and by the same 
token even single cells may qualify as intelligent in the sense of naturalist 
and kinesthetic intelligence.

In sum, there are different ways to define intelligence and information 
dependent on what we want them to do for us. Concepts are tools used by 
theories. Theories are tools used by people. Many different concepts address 
different aspects of the world and seem to fill their purpose. 
>From an info-computational approach we may hope to provide a base for the 
>construction of generative explanatory models for the development of 
>intelligence by information processing in living organisms.

With best regards,

More on Info-Computationalism 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On 
Behalf Of Pedro C. Marijuan
Sent: den 12 november 2010 13:19
Subject: Re: [Fis] INTELLIGENCE & INFORMATION (by Y.X.Zhong)

Dear FIS colleagues,

It is quite nice reading along the messages of this new discussion 
session. In particular, Krassimir's posting is very interesting for me 
in two senses. It represents an important research community of 
information scientists/engineering practitioners (strong in Easter 
Europe and other areas) that was not engaged in our list discussions 
yet, specially thinking in the common project envisioned with other 
parties about the International Society for Information Studies. Well, 
the general content of the message (now I cannot go to the many 
interesting details deserving specific comment) has strongly reminded me 
about the theoretical evolution happened in another field: string 
theory. About how a multiplicity of approaches from rather different 
angles has recently coalesced into what is known as 
"M-Theory"---included in the comparison is that M theory predicts the 
possibility of 10 exp 500 different universes... In our common quest for 
foundations of information science, How should we cope with so many 
attempts to develop general information theories? Even more, How should 
we cope with the different "implicit" conceptions of information, well 
established and logically sound within almost each disciplinary body? In 
what extent looks viable a possible "Info M-Theory"? Would it open an 
explosion of 10 exp (?) possible configurations of info realms?

My impression is that the conflation of information with the 
intelligence discussion (while the former can be abstracted almost to 
completion, the latter has to be "situated", "embodied", and in general 
related to self-construction processes) provides ground for better 
formulations of the above rough questions, and maybe a radical new response.

best regards


Krassimir Markov escribió:
> Dear Yi-Xin, Pedro and FIS Coleagues,
> Thank you for kind invitation. I am very glad to take part in FIS.
> During the years I have seen a stable interest to the basic problems of
> informatics. This was the reason to unite more than 2000 scientists all
> over the world in the ITHEA® International Scientific Society (ITHEA® ISS)
> and for the last ten years to organize more than 60 conferences, to
> publish two Int. Journals and more than 30 books. The Institute of
> Information Theories and Applications FOI ITHEA® was established as
> independent nongovernmental organization to support the collaboration
> between members of ITHEA® ISS. (pls. see ). Let finish this
> introductory part with little information about me. My name is Krassimir
> Markov. I am mathematician with specialization in computer science and I
> have worked in the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the
> Bulgarian Academy of Sciences since 1975.
> I think, firstly we need to answer to the second question - What is the
> correct concept of information? --Without proper understanding of
> information, the definition of concept "intelligence" as well as all the
> answers of the rest questions will be intuitive and not clear.
> There exist several common theoretical information paradigms in the
> Information Science. May be, the most popular is the approach based on the
> generalization of the Shannon's Information Theory [Shannon, 1949], [Lu,
> 1999]. Another approach is the attempt to synthesize the existing
> mathematical theories in a common structure, which is applicable for
> explanation of the information phenomena [Cooman et al, 1995].
> ....
> At the end, there exist some works that claim for theoretical generality
> and aspire to be a new approach in the Information Science, but theirs
> authors should clear up what they really talk about [Burgin, 1997].
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