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Johannes Kleiner: on 7/2/20 at 5:39am UTC, wrote Abstract of this talk: This presentation offers a heuristic proof (and...


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FQXi BLOGS
November 27, 2020

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Markov blankets and Bayesian mechanics by Karl Friston [refresh]
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Blogger Johannes Kleiner wrote on Jul. 2, 2020 @ 05:39 GMT
Abstract of this talk: This presentation offers a heuristic proof (and simulations of a primordial soup) suggesting that life—or biological self-organization—is an inevitable and emergent property of any (weakly mixing) random dynamical system that possesses a Markov blanket. This conclusion is based on the following arguments: if a system can be differentiated from its external milieu, heat bath or environment, then the system’s internal and external states must be conditionally independent. These independences induce a Markov blanket that separates internal and external states. This separation means that internal states will appear to minimize a free energy functional of blanket states – via a variational principle of stationary action. Crucially, this equips internal states with an information geometry, pertaining to probabilistic beliefs about something; namely external states. Interestingly, this free energy is the same quantity that is optimized in Bayesian inference and machine learning (where it is known as an evidence lower bound). In short, internal states (and their Markov blanket) will appear to model—and act on—their world to preserve their functional and structural integrity. This leads to a Bayesian mechanics, which can be neatly summarised as self-evidencing.



Keywords: Mathematical Consciousness Science Online Seminar Series

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