Information without context is noise. Noise is what we have everywhere. What separates noise from information is that we understand the noise — we have context about it. A foreign language can be meaningless, just noise, but with the right context the noise becomes meaningful. So how do we derive meaning from noise?
I picture the evolution from noise to meaning as something like this:
Noise -> Observation -> Patterns -> Context -> Information -> Meaning.
Noise is the information we don’t have context about. Noise is the information that’s meaningless. To derive meaning requires Observation. Observation leads to recognizing patterns. Patterns are the key. (Again: Patterns are the key to how we learn and similar to how machines learn). Patterns allow us to map actions to results. Patterns provide Context because we can reasonable expect a particular result based on an action (that has been previously observed). So if we encounter some “noise” and we begin to observe “patterns” we begin to have context about what we’re seeing and this context becomes information.
Meaning in this case is the creative use and/or understanding of information. Once we have information creativity unlocks the use of that information. Meaning is a deep understanding of information. I sort see it as a painter with five colors to use. Depending on the painter’s creativity and understanding of colors he/she can paint a wonderful masterpiece. Meaning from this angle can be properly mixing different groups of information. An artist can have an idea in their mind for a project (information) and have the five colors on their palette (still “information”) and can use these groups of information to create new information (the final masterpiece).
I imagine this is how Artificial Intelligence works. I’m aware there are two types machines learn: Supervised Learning and Un-supervised learning. In both contexts patterns must play a huge role especially, as in un-supervised learning, when the machine is expected to derive information and behaviors based on what it’s observing (through sensors of course).
Goals (Intelligent Systems)
I’m very interested in building devices and software that will allow become better informed as society. I want to make devices and services that will augment how we live and experience the physical and intellectual spaces around us. I want to create intelligent devices that can help us cooperate better.