In today’s post, I am looking at the Conant-Ashby theorem, “The Good Regulator Theorem”, named after Roger C. Conant and W. Ross Ashby. Ashby is one of the pioneers of the Cybernetics movement. This theorem states that:
Every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system.
A really good version of this theorem comes from Daniel L. Scholten, who says – Every good key must be a model of the lock it opens. The key must match the lock in order for it to open it. As Conant and Ashby put it:
Any regulator that is maximally both successful and simple must be isomorphic with the system being regulated… Making a model is thus necessary. The theorem has the interesting corollary that the living brain, so far as it is to be successful and efficient as a regulator for survival, must proceed, in learning, by the…
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