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Main => General Discussion => Topic started by: CLains on June 02, 2014, 05:42:51 pm

Title: prediction markets and the brain
Post by: CLains on June 02, 2014, 05:42:51 pm
The free-energy principle: a unified brain theory?

What do you geniuses make of this theory? The implications are pretty cool.
Title: Re: prediction markets and the brain
Post by: pgbit on June 02, 2014, 09:25:04 pm
The irony of free energy won't be lost in this forum.

But to apply this to the 'blockchain', the free-energy principle discussed in the paper appears fundamental to the general concepts of 'action' (e.g mining), 'perception' (e.g. vote analysis) and 'learning' (e.g. moving from POW to POS). As its logic happens to flow through several theories of brain function (e.g. from the simpler infomax theory to the inference engine / Bayesian brain hypothesis) it will be wise to construct systems that obey these principles. To start with though, just as Bitcoin has started in a very inefficient way, it did so to encourage adoption - and so initially I suspect that more complex, evolved code (e.g. mimicking elements of higher cortical functions) won't need to follow these principles at all, it will just need perform new functions and get the job done. On a simpler level, an example might be a 'self-aware' blockchain client that auto-syncs when a fork is detected, ideally without re-downloading an entire blockchain. For the complex stuff, and peeking ahead just a bit, will the tough part be controlling evolution of higher-order analytical systems? It's interesting to think what will be the tipping point for the next steps forward here. The answer might lie in how to connect together these theories.

This paper is really interesting as a collection of ideas, I'm going to read it more carefully, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: prediction markets and the brain
Post by: CLains on June 03, 2014, 04:08:17 pm
Have you seen Giulio Tononi's Integrated Information Theory ( It proposes that consciousness just is integrated information. From what I know empirically about the function of consciousness, it seems to be associated with coordinating information (and forming consensus) globally in the brain. Not sure this will ever help in a DAC, but it does seem to be a big theoretical component in the way we humans resolve disputes in our own system and come to a determinate representation and decision.
Title: Re: prediction markets and the brain
Post by: pgbit on June 04, 2014, 11:37:55 pm
See what he did, a thought experiment about thoughts. The camera thought experiment might be analogous to the difference between photoreceptors in the eye and the visual cortex in the brain, the clear difference being that consciousness is defined by "integrated information" of visual imagery perceived in the cortex and not from the outputs from each photoreceptor. This example, though, only makes a reference to low-level consciousness.

There are lots of models for higher levels of consciousness, undoubtedly necessarily pseudo-scientific, and some try to merge age-old theories: (

The eight circuits there could at a stretch be revised as a model for evolving DAC features.

1. Biosurvival: DAC programmed to trust (trusted datafeeds are fundamental to survival)
2. Territorial: DAC programmed to destroy another DAC (important to know what others might try)
3. Symbolic: DAC conquering prediction markets (overall 'mind-map' perspective required)
4. Reproductive: DACs that spawn DACs (essential for evolution)
5. Neurosomatic: Self-awareness (tricky but essential to code for decision making)
6. Neuroelectric: DACs that reprogram themselves (and market themselves)
7. Neurogenetic: a DAC influenced by the collective unconscious of the 'DAC-sphere' (inter-DAC communications)
[8. Overmind: being God-like. I would take this to mean knowing what happened before the Big Bang. Probably not applicable!]

Let the games begin!