Free Energy Principle Made Simple

We had a great time discussing Karl Friston’s Free Energy Principle with Richard Everts from Bestie Bot while using Claude 2 and cliff notes to provide some clarity to the dense text.

You can find the white paper The Free Energy Principle Made Simple But Not Too Simple.

You can find our cliff notes here for 30 days.

Further discussion included links on the following topics:

CIA Research on Consciousness

How Your Brain Organizes Information

Markov Blanket

Also, here are some notes from the session by Nathaniel Evry from Quub:

My General notes reconciling the Free energy principle and hippocampal formation as a modality-agnostic mapping machine and the notion of connectedness.

  • The hippocampus can be seen as a set of internal states that are separated from external states by a Markov blanket of sensory and active states. This fits with the hippocampus integrating multimodal sensory inputs and influencing memory encoding/retrieval.
  • Sparse coupling in the hippocampus could give rise to its hypothesized property of “separated comparators” – where different input streams are kept independent for comparison. This is analogous to conditional independencies between internal states.
  • The hippocampus is thought to create a coherent spatial representation through attractor dynamics. This fits with the paper’s notion of a steady-state density implying an attractor. The coherent representation could be seen as a low entropy steady-state.
  • Mapping spaces and the notion of connectedness relies on the hippocampus integrating information across modalities into a coherent whole. This is analogous to internal states synchronizing with external states through active inference.
  • The principle of least action suggests hippocampal dynamics will follow flows that minimize “surprisal” or prediction error. This connects statistical properties with self-organization and could account for phenomena like memory consolidation.


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