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Old 05-23-2019, 05:27 AM
Half Man Half Wit's Avatar
Half Man Half Wit is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,907
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Computers have modular functional units. So does the brain. But not necessarily modular information. In fact memory hierarchies are designed so that their hierarchical nature is invisible to the program, except perhaps as regards to access time. Thus, information integration inside a modular computer system is not necessarily modular.
I'm not a proponent of IIT, but, as far as I understand it, the issue is: you can calculate (approximately, at least) the integrated information between the parts of a physical system (actually, what to consider a system's 'parts' is only determined, via a minimization, upon calculating---essentially, you split the system up such that the integrated information is minimal), essentially calculating a quantity that's somewhat similar to the mutual information. For a brain, that gets you a high number, for a computer, a low one.

So in that sense, the integrated information is a physical quantity that's present in a system, but not, in general, in a system that's simulating that system---just like the mass of a black hole isn't present in a simulation of said black hole (which I gather is rather a good thing).