Kumiko Tanaka-Ishii has recently written an excellent little book, The Semiotics of Programming, which may be of interest in connecting semiosis with machine-like processes like that of computation.



On 11/13/2010 2:02 PM, Stanley N Salthe wrote:

>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.

It seems to me that this implies, in any non-mechanistic system, semiosis -- that is to say, a process of interpretation by the agent. Thus, intelligence would be related to the viewpoint of the agent, which would be located by its needs. Semioticians, however, have not been much engaged by this concept. Hoffmeyer claims that it is especially a social skill.


On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic <gordana.dodig-crnko...@mdh.se <mailto:gordana.dodig-crnko...@mdh.se>> wrote:

    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
    . 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

    With best regards,
    http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/~gdc <http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/%7Egdc>

    More on Info-Computationalism

    -----Original Message-----
    From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es
    <mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es>] On Behalf Of Pedro C. Marijuan
    Sent: den 12 november 2010 13:19
    To: fis@listas.unizar.es <mailto:fis@listas.unizar.es>
    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
    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
    related to self-construction processes) provides ground for better
    formulations of the above rough questions, and maybe a radical new

    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
    > between members of ITHEA® ISS. (pls. see www.ithea.org
    <http://www.ithea.org> ). Let finish this
    > introductory part with little information about me. My name is
    > 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
    > and aspire to be a new approach in the Information Science, but
    > authors should clear up what they really talk about [Burgin, 1997].
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