Consciousness is inference (Friston)

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Deduction of consciousness as a process of inference in complex systems
Luis de la Pinta
Mind Map by Luis de la Pinta, updated more than 1 year ago
Luis de la Pinta
Created by Luis de la Pinta over 3 years ago
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Resource summary

Consciousness is inference (Friston)
  1. [1] We are thrown ito the world [out there] as a PROCESS already in motion
    1. Processes that matter here: PROCESSES making up COMPLEX SYSTEMS
    2. [2] Knowing LYAPUNOV FUNCTION [LF] for each state of a system --> know flow of the system between states
      1. Example: water stream through a mountainous landscape
        1. Lyapunov function: montainous landscape
          1. Description of evolution of system: movement of stream of water
        2. [3] COMPLEX SYSTEMS use their LF FUNCTION to move towards ATTRACTORS (small number of most probable states)
          1. = repetitive, SELF-ORGANISING behavior
            1. COMPLEX SYSTEMS are SELF-ORGANISING because they have ATTRACTORS
              1. ATTRACTORS: cycles of mutually reinforcing states allowing PROCESSES to reach a DYNAMIC EQUILIBRIUM
            2. [4] HUMANS = "strange loops" or "playful loops" (Douglas Hofstader)
              1. We move through an enormous, high-dimensional state-space of possibilities, but are forced by our ATTRACTORS to move around in confined circles (= pattern of trajectory of an automn leave falling)
                1. To be ALIVE --> all our PROCESSES must DECREASE the LF --> pushing as to ATTRACTORS
                  1. Our PROCESSES = thoughts & behaviors
                2. HUMANS = COMPLEX SYSTEM with a set of ATTRACTING STATES
                3. [5] Interpretations of LF
                  1. I) from INFORMATION TH.
                    1. LF = SURPRISE
                    2. II) from STATISTICS
                      1. LF = (NEGATIVE) EVIDENCE
                        1. = MARGINAL LIKELIHOOD
                          1. = probablity that a given model acounting for that state is correct
                            1. = staying alive --> II) we increase our model evidence (SELF-EVIDENCING) = minimise surprise
                      2. [6] --> EXISTENTIAL DYNAMICS with PURPOSE & TELEOLOGY
                        1. INFERENCE = maximising evidence for a model of the world (for me!)
                          1. The model is OURSELVES! (i.e. we evaluate what the world might be doing to us)
                            1. INFERENCE: what any COMPLEX PROCESS repeatedly occuppying certain states performs
                              1. [6.1] INFERENCE in NATURAL SELECTION: SELECTING among CREATURES
                                1. Example [evolution in terms of inference]: PHENOTYPES of a population (of a species) = multiple HYPOTESIS OR MODELS about what might 'work'
                                  1. EACH INDIVIDUAL = MODEL of what should occupy the corresponding ecological niche
                            2. INFERENCE: process of figuring out the best hypothesis that explains the observed states of the SYSTEM we call the WORLD
                          2. [7] INFERENCE IN CONSCIOUSNESS
                            1. Conscious processing: inferring the causes of sensory states
                              1. --> navigate the wold to elude surprise
                              2. --> SELECTING among different STATES of the same creature (in particular, its brain)
                                1. brain = self-evidencing organ of inference
                                2. Conscious vs non-conscious creatures
                                  1. how they make inferences about ACTION & TIME
                                    1. To determine a future action, the system must have internal models with TEMPORAL THICKNESS
                                      1. --> COUNTERFACTUAL DEPTH
                                        1. Future action --> minimisation of EXPECTED surprise following the action
                                        2. VIRUSES are unconscious: they don't have a THICK MODEL OF TIME
                                      2. CONSCIOUSNESS = inference about my future
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