Information Theory

Information Theory...FI

When we communicate with one another we use certain words more frequently than others. This may seem like a pretty benign idea considering you know this to be true without really thinking about it, but what are the implications of this simple idea?

The implications of this idea have led scientists to study what is called Information Theory.

Information Theory has begun to open up options for us that we have never thought possible, and will allow us on earth to better understand the environment around us.

Information Theory is rooted in the probability of occurrence of certain words within a language. This probability of occurrence allows us to determine if what we are hearing is simply noise, or if it is complex communication.

Think about it this way, every language in the human race has certain words that are used more frequently than others during communication. Due to this fact we would know that if we took several minutes of conversation, or several pages of coherent text we would end up with a long list of words being used with varying frequencies.

If we were to then plot this information into a graph we would get something that looks like this…

Actual Info graph

This angle would be consistent regardless of the language of communication provided it was actual coherent information.

If on the other hand we took several minutes of random spoken words, or random text, we would still end up with a long list of words, but the variance associated with their level of use would have changed. If plotted, this graph would look like this…

Random Words graph

 

If you are asking yourself why this matters, consider that we can learn how other animals on earth are communicating, and we can now determine if they are actually saying something to one another, or if they are simply making noise.

The following video discusses Information Theory research being done with dolphins.

What you do not see on this video is the fact that this theory is now being applied to the universe to listen to the hundreds of millions of electromagnetic noises that are out there. Regardless of what the human ear hears, if we are hearing actual information, the same angle will still exist if we plot the data.

The question now is simple, will it just be noise? Or will we hear….information?