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Info-computationalism

 
 Editor
Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic gordana.dodig-crnkovic@mdh.se
 Incorporated contributions
Dodig-Crnkovic (10/2010)
 Usage domain
Transdiciplinary, Philosophy of information and computation, Computation theory
 Type
Theory
 French
Info-calcul
 German Info-Berechnung
 

Info-computationalism is the view that the physical universe can be best understood as computational processes operating on informational structure. Classical matter/energy in this model is replaced by information, while the dynamics are identified as computational processes. In this view the universe is a gigantic computer that continuously computes its next states by following physical laws. Info-computationalism thus appears as a conjunction of two theses: one about processes (computation) – pancomputationalism (see e.g. Chaitin, 2009) and one about structure (information) – paninformationalism (see Floridi, 2008).

What makes info-computationalist naturalism a promising research programme is, according to (Dodig-Crnkovic and Müller, 2010):

  • Unlike mechanicist paradigm, info-computationalist naturalism has the ability to tackle as well fundamental physical structures as life phenomena within the same conceptual framework. The observer is an integral part of the info-computational universe. (See Dodig-Crnkovic, 2010)
  • Integration of scientific understanding of the structures and processes of life with the rest of natural world will help to achieve “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” (or computing in general) even for complex phenomena of biology that today lack mathematical effectiveness (Gelfand) – in sharp contrast to physics (Wigner).
  • Info-computationalism (which presupposes pancomputationalism and paninformationalism) presents a unifying framework for common knowledge production in many up to know unrelated research fields. Present day narrow specialization into various isolated research fields has led to the alarming impoverishment of the common world view.
  • Our existing computing devices are a subset of a set of possible physical computing machines, and Turing Machine model is a subset of envisaged more general natural computational models. Advancement of our computing methods beyond the Turing-Church paradigm will result in computing capable of handling complex phenomena such as living organisms and processes of life, social dynamics, communication and control of large interacting networks as addressed in organic computing and other kinds of unconventional computing.
  • Understanding of the semantics of information as a part of the data-information-knowledge-wisdom sequence, in which more and more complex relational structures are created by computational processing of information. An evolutionary naturalist view of semantics of information in living organisms is given based on interaction/information exchange of an organism with its environment.
  • Discrete and analogue are both needed in physics and so in physical computing which can help us to deeper understanding of their relationship.
  • Relating phenomena of information and computation understood in interactive paradigm will enable investigations into logical pluralism of information produced as a result of interactive computation. Of special interest are open systems in communication with the environment and related logical pluralism including paraconsistent logic.
  • Of all manifestations of life, mind seems to be information-theoretically and philosophically the most interesting one. Info-computationalist naturalism (pancomputationalism + paninformationalism) has a potential to support, by means of models and simulations, our effort in learning about mind and developing artifactual (artificial) intelligence in the direction of organic computing.
 
References
  • DODIG-CRNKOVIC G. and MÜLLER V. (2010). A Dialogue Concerning Two World Systems: Info-Computational vs. Mechanistic. In G. Dodig-Crnkovic and M. Burgin (eds.) (2010). Information and Computation. World Scientific Publishing Co. Series in Information Studies. [Online Preprint] <http://www.idt.mdh.se/ECAP-2005/INFOCOMPBOOK/DialogueGordanaVincent/2009> [Retrieved: 30/09/2010]. 
  • DODIG-CRNKOVIC G. (2010). The Cybersemiotics and Info-Computationalist Research Programmes as Platforms for Knowledge Production in Organisms and Machines. Entropy, 12, 878-901 2010.
  • CHAITIN, G. (2007). Epistemology as information theory: From Leibniz to Ω. In Dodig-Crnkovic, G. & Stuart S., (Eds.). Computation, information, cognition: The nexus and the liminal. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 27-51.
  • FLORIDI, L. (2009). ‘Against digital ontology’. Synthese, 168, pp. 151-178.
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Dodig-Crnkovic (09/2010)
 
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