Practopoiesis: Intelligence as Feedback at Multiple Scales

Practopoiesis: Intelligence as Feedback at Multiple Scales

The question of how to achieve intelligence remains a mystery for scientists. Recently, however a new theory has been proposed that may resolve this very question. The theory is called practopoiesis and is founded in the most fundamental capability of all biological organisms—their ability to adapt.

Practopoiesis states that the slow and fast adaptive mechanisms are collectively responsible for creation of intelligence and are organized into a hierarchy. First, evolution creates genes at a painstakingly slow tempo. Then genes slowly create the mechanisms of fast adaptations. Next, adaptation mechanisms change the properties of our nerve cells within seconds. And finally, the resulting adjusted networks of nerve cells route sensory signals to muscles with the speed of lightning. At the end behavior is created.

Probably the most groundbreaking aspect of practopoietic theory is that our intelligent minds are not primarily located in the connectivity matrix of our neural networks, as it has been widely held, but instead in the elaborate knowledge of the fast adaptive mechanisms. The more knowledge our genes store into our quick abilities to adapt nerve cells, the more capability we have to adjust in novel situations, solve problems, and generally, act intelligently.

HT Nikola Danaylov​

Originally shared by Nikola Danaylov

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