In the computing world, it is generally widely accepted fact that data can exist without any prescribed associated process. Once the data is stored on a medium (generally called as Memory) it can be put into any abstract process trying to derive some conclusions. (This trend is generally called as big-data analytics leading to predictive and prescriptive analytics)
If I mention that function can exist without any prescribed data to it with multiple outcomes, then it is not easily accepted. Only thing people can think about is completely chaotic random number generator in this. Completely data independent, pure function that returns a function based on its own “anticipation” is what is called consciousness.
This is one of my interest areas in computability and information theory. A complex system behavior is not driven entirely by the data presented to it. Trying to model the complex system purely by the past data emitted by the system is not going to work. One should consider the anticipatory bias of the system as well while modeling.
Functional Programming comes a step near to this paradigm. It tries to define the function without intermittent state preserving variables. In mathematical terms a function maps elements of domain to its range. Abstracting this into an anticipation model we get the consciousness (or free will) as a function of three possible return functions.
1. Will do
2. Will NOT do
3. Will do differently
(I have derived this based on an ancient Sanskrit statement regarding free will – kartum, akartum, anyathA vA kartum saktaH)
The third option above (it is beyond binary, 0 or 1) leads to the recursion of this function of evaluation of alternatives and again at (t+Δt) the system has all the three options. When the anticipatory system responds then “data” starts emitting from it. The environment in with this micro anticipatory system is operating is also a macro anticipatory system.
The ongoing hype around big data is to establish the patterns of data emitted from various micro-systems and establishing the function of macro-freewill. It is easier for a micro-freewill to dynamically model the function which is called “intuition” that is beyond the limits of computability.
Enough of techno-philosophical rambling for this Friday! Have a nice weekend.