information theory


Definition of information theory

: a theory that deals statistically with information, with the measurement of its content in terms of its distinguishing essential characteristics or by the number of alternatives from which it makes a choice possible, and with the efficiency of processes of communication between humans and machines

Examples of information theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Quantum computers, for instance, are systems where both quantum information theory and thermodynamics are key. Nicole Yunger Halpern, Scientific American, "Quantum Steampunk: 19th-Century Science Meets Technology of Today," 18 Apr. 2020 Hanne Darboven’s frieze-like work on paper at Galerie Crone (Booth 516, Pier 94) from 1973 is also minimalist in appearance, but is based on information theory and early artificial intelligence. Martha Schwendener, New York Times, "The Armory Show: Playing It Safe During an Unsettled Time," 5 Mar. 2020 Entropy is a big concept in information theory and black holes, as well as in biology. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Just a Few Billion Years Left to Go," 4 Mar. 2020 Intrinsic causal Power The alternative path—integrated information theory (IIT)—takes a more fundamental approach to explaining consciousness. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "Will Machines Ever Become Conscious?," 1 Dec. 2019 This may sound like New Age bunk, but a version of this concept, called integrated information theory, or I.I.T., is widely considered one of the field’s most promising theories in recent years. Meghan O’gieblyn, The New Yorker, "Do We Have Minds of Our Own?," 4 Dec. 2019 In fact, a number of mathematicians and scientists have also become obsessed with juggling, including Claude Shannon, the father of information theory and Richard Ross, who heads up the cephalopods division at the California Academy of Sciences. Wired, "Adam Savage on Juggling and How Obsession Makes You Smarter," 13 Nov. 2019 The first two contenders are the global workspace theory (GWT), championed by Stanislas Dehaene of the Collège de France in Paris, and the integrated information theory (IIT), proposed by Giulio Tononi of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Sara Reardon, Science | AAAS, "‘Outlandish’ competition seeks the brain’s source of consciousness," 16 Oct. 2019 But recent developments in nonequilibrium physics, complex systems science and information theory are challenging that view. Quanta Magazine, "How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder," 26 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'information theory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of information theory

1945, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of information theory was in 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Information theory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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