Marketing and Thermodynamics: (Buying) Behavior and Entropy

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Marketers need to think a lot more about the behavioral and optimizing mechanics of buying and thus, principals of thermodynamics!

“Abstract
Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the human “cognitive niche”—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a nonequilibrium process in open systems.

An ambitious new paper published in Physical Review Letters seeks to describe intelligence as a fundamentally thermodynamic process…(…describes intelligent behavior as a way to maximize the capture of possible future histories of a particular system…)…By extending traditional definitions of entropic force, they demonstrate its influence on simulated examples of tool use, cooperation, and even stabilizing an upright pendulum.

The familiar concept of entropy which states that systems are biased to evolve towards greater disorder, gives little indication about exactly how they evolve….More generally, the authors now suggest that systems which show intelligence, uniformly maximize the total entropy produced over their entire path through configuration space between the present time and some future time.

…describes intelligent behavior as a way to maximize the capture of possible future histories of a particular system….When following a causal path, entropy is based not on the internal arrangements accessible to a system at any particular time, but rather on the number of arrangements it could pass through on the way to possible future states.

Does Cosmology Hint At How To Build Artificial Minds?
In a practical simulation of a particle in a box, for example, the effect of causal entropic forcing is to keep the particle in a relatively central location….With application of the causal forcing function, the system rapidly produced behaviors were larger disks “used” smaller disks to release other disks from trapped locations. In different scenarios of this general paradigm, disks cooperated together to achieve seemingly improbable results.

Many of these kinds of behaviors might also be compared to activities we now know exist in the normal biochemical operations of cells….the overall diversity of behaviors modeled with this formalism does not fail to impress.

The spontaneous emergence of complex behaviors now has a new tool which can be used to probe its possible origins.

Abstract
Recent advances in fields ranging from cosmology to computer science have hinted at a possible deep connection between intelligence and entropy maximization, but no formal physical relationship between them has yet been established. Here, we explicitly propose a first step toward such a relationship in the form of a causal generalization of entropic forces that we find can cause two defining behaviors of the human “cognitive niche”—tool use and social cooperation—to spontaneously emerge in simple physical systems. Our results suggest a potentially general thermodynamic model of adaptive behavior as a nonequilibrium process in open systems.”

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