This six-session course will introduce participants to thinking about physical interaction as communication, and hence thinking about physical systems as communicating agents. It will show how the free-energy principle (FEP) and the idea of active inference apply to all physical systems, regardless of scale, subject only to constraints of conditional statistical independence or separability. It will investigate these constraints, their implementations, and their limits.
The course will introduce the formal methods of quantum information theory (QIT) and show how they relate to classical information theory. These methods will be employed as thinking tools, not calculating tools. A background in quantum theory or statistical physics will be useful but is not required; basic physics and some familiarity with linear algebra – vectors and operators – will be helpful. We will be discussing various abstract concepts, but with a focus on their intuitive meaning, not their formal structure No coding will be required, though anyone inclined in this direction will see many opportunities for model building.
There will be one “live” presentation session and one live discussion session per month, together with asynchronous Q&A and discussion. All sessions will be recorded and accessible asynchronously.
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