Learning: Variety-Amplification in Autonomous Systems
The premise of this conference, and of this proposed paper is that understanding is a basis for action, that action is a basis for understanding, and that these two relationships together form a circular relationship. Through development of this paper I aim to investigate the following:
a) I imagine this cyclical relationship assuming that understanding is internal to the learning system/organism in question, while action is external to the learning system/organism in question. Is this an oversimplification? Is this a valid assumption? Is this a crude but helpful (simplifying) way of thinking about these things?
b) If the assumption stated under a) is agreeable (if only for the sake of being able to think in simple terms), then it can be stated that the move from understanding to action and the move from action to understanding are both boundary-crossing, the first one in the form of output from, the second one in the form of input to the system/organism in question. In both these boundary-crossing moves, learning hinges on variety amplification.
c) If this is the case, then how does the system/organism in question learn (amplify variety) where action is a basis for new understanding? How can a system, autonomously, amplify its variety (move from “seeing less” to “seeing more”)?