The Cybersemiotics and Info-Computationalist Research Programmes

Entropy 12 (4):878-901 (2010)
Both Cybersemiotics and Info-computationalist research programmes represent attempts to unify understanding of information, knowledge and communication. The first one takes into account phenomenological aspects of signification which are insisting on the human experience "from within". The second adopts solely the view "from the outside" based on scientific practice, with an observing agent generating inter-subjective knowledge in a research community. The process of knowledge production, embodied into networks of cognizing agents interacting with the environment and developing through evolution is studied on different levels of abstraction in both frames of reference. In order to develop scientifically tractable models of evolution of intelligence in informational structures from pre-biotic/chemical to living networked intelligent organisms, including the implementation of those models in artificial agents, a basic level language of Info-Computationalism has shown to be suitable. There are however contexts in which we deal with complex informational structures essentially dependent on human first person knowledge where high level language such as Cybersemiotics is the appropriate tool for conceptualization and communication. Two research projects are presented in order to exemplify the interplay of info-computational and higher-order approaches: The Blue Brain Project where the brain is modeled as info-computational system, a simulation in silico of a biological brain function, and Biosemiotics research on genes, information, and semiosis in which the process of semiosis is understood in info-computational terms. The article analyzes differences and convergences of Cybersemiotics and Info-computationalist approaches which by placing focus on distinct levels of organization, help elucidate processes of knowledge production in intelligent agents.
Keywords philosophy of information  cybersemiotics  info-computationalism  modelling  measurement  knowledge generation  intelligence  computing and philosophy
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