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    Thread: Causal Entropic Forces - Source of Intelligent Behaviour?

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      Member StephL's Avatar
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      Causal Entropic Forces - Source of Intelligent Behaviour?

      I'm not reading Forbes normally - but while following a link to something else - I found this article:

      From Atoms To Bits, Physics Shows Entropy As The Root Of Intelligence - Forbes

      It is about the following article in "Physical Review Letters":

      Causal Entropic Forces


      Abstract:

      Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep
      connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between
      them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the
      form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the
      human ‘‘cognitive niche’’—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical
      systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a
      nonequilibrium process in open systems.
      There is a short youtube video about their program "Entropica" as well:




      Thoughts on this?

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      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      I'm sceptical about it. It seems more like a bunch of analogies than an explanatory theory. For instance, what is the basis for saying the algorithm is trying to make a profit on the stock market? You could equally interpret it as the algorithm actively trying to lose money on the stock market. The former interpretation was picked by humans because it sounds smarter - in actual fact the algorithm has no understanding of goals.

      This may be a useful algorithm for solving certain problems, but it was designed by humans, implemented in tasks conceptualised by humans, and its performance evaluated by humans. It's still a long way off true intelligence.
      StephL likes this.

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      Member StephL's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I'm sceptical about it. It seems more like a bunch of analogies than an explanatory theory. For instance, what is the basis for saying the algorithm is trying to make a profit on the stock market? You could equally interpret it as the algorithm actively trying to lose money on the stock market. The former interpretation was picked by humans because it sounds smarter - in actual fact the algorithm has no understanding of goals.

      This may be a useful algorithm for solving certain problems, but it was designed by humans, implemented in tasks conceptualised by humans, and its performance evaluated by humans. It's still a long way off true intelligence.
      Thank you for your opinion!
      Yeah - this program didn't exactly convince me either - but I thought it might be down to lack of background information to the activities "Entropy" supposedly set out doing on it's own. Did it define for itself, what it "wanted" - how does stock-trading with gain resemble entropy-rise etc. - this all said, without studying the paper in depth - which probably isn't within my grasp - at least not without further sources.

      It had a certain appeal to me, though - that keeping options open is considered by the authors as a driving force for - at least "artificial intelligent (AI) behaviour" - similar to thermodynamics.
      Sounded like a novel approach - at least outside the wet-zone - but in the mathematics/coding of software.

      So you say - this algorithm probably has it's usefulness among what already is misleadingly called AI - but claiming, that it brings us forward concerning understanding the principles underpinning human intelligence - is over-analogizing.
      And even misleadingly presented - I was disappointed by the video - what I expected was more something like Conway's 'Game of Life' in really advanced.

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