You could look at this as a physics of sentient systems, [...] Cells, organs, brains, people, societies, eco-niches, banks—anything that self-assembles and maintains its structural and functional integrity must be subject to this principle (free energy principle). Institutions, even cultures could at some level be accounted for by the underlying mechanics.
If we don't assign the right confidence to different sources of information that we've engineered for ourselves with technology [...] then we could end up making false inferences very much along the same lines as people with schizophrenia might make false inferences about the causes of certain things they're witnessing.
It means that you are in charge, [...] and you can choose which data you sample in order to make inferences about the causes of those data.
All our technology that we have created around ourselves is simply an expression of the way that we expect the world to be, [...] The things that we do collectively in our world are all in the service of making the world a more learnable, predictable place. Technology is the natural extension of active inference beyond the single person.
It may well be that the rapid explosion of available data that could be sampled may have overwhelmed our attentional capacities
You may have the impression that you have access to an extremely high-dimensional representation of the visual field. In fact, you don't. You're actually just experiencing one little central pinprick of all the things that you could sample, and you stitch them together by very carefully selecting little bits of data.
Collaboration is 99 percent of what I do
Usually the most interesting next steps are questions that are brought to you by exposing yourself to the next generation of theoreticians, [...] so I'm quite happy being basically in response mode 99 percent of the time.
In the past, all of these choices would have been specified by cultural evolution, by the physical limits of travel, the number of people that we can physically converse with, [...] But now, those constraints are gone. We have to relearn how to attend, and what to attend to, and what to ignore.
The rapid pace of technological development in my field is exactly due to this informational niche construction, which I think is exactly this notion of downloading a lot of our cognitive processing into our devices, and extending our cognition into a space beyond our own brains.
It is exactly those scientists who are making a difference who will look as if they're struggling—trying to integrate multiple fields—because they are looking for principles, explanations, hypotheses, models that have the broadest explanatory power. We're all aspiring collectively to the simplest explanations for why we are here and what we are doing.
"You are in charge", Inference <=> The power of meaning