Knowledge extraction

Any operation of a cybernetic regulator (or a monitor-and-act unit) results in a form of knowledge extraction. From general knowledge about the properties of the environment, which is stored in the regulator in a form of a model of that environment, specific knowledge is extracted by interacting with that environment.

For example, if a thermostat switches the heating system off, this very act contains certain knowledge about what is currently happening in the heated space. Namely, in this example, the regulator knows the temperature is high enough.

In a practopoietic hierarchy, actions of one regulator result in adjusted properties of another regulator. That way, one regulator extracts cybernetic knowledge for the other.

For example, when proteins synthesized by gene expression mechanisms change anatomy of a nervous system, the resulting anatomical structures constitute new cybernetic knowledge of the nervous system. This knowledge is used when appropriate behavior needs to be generated and is extracted by gene expression mechanisms. In the case of a heating system, a human person who sets the target temperature of the thermostat acts practopoietically—providing to the heating system a piece of cybernetic knowledge about its environment.

Knowledge extraction is in the roots of adaptive traverse.

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