I loved On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins, even recommending it as one of my Top Three Picks on on Episode 210 of the Systematic podcast. But I don’t recall articulating its thesis very well, or explaining why I found it so compelling.
One framework is the mind constantly predicts what happens next, updating its model as sensory feedback floods in. So mind is constant prediction, updated against reality. And not just passive prediction, but actively predicting what will happen if you do particular actions. This is a fairly old idea. I first came across it in Jeff Hawkins’ 2007 book On Intelligence, and it was a revelation (at least to me). Because it seems so obviously correct. And over the past decade I’ve seen this framework slowly gaining ground. In particular machine learning has hastened the trend. To that end, here’s a new article arguing for the mind as prediction framework: To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future. If you like it, you should also consider Scott Alexander’s post on the same idea It’s Bayes All the Way Up.
It seemed obviously right to me as well, and I’ve added the two links to Instapaper.