The Contemporary Interpretation of Information and Its Basic Characteristics

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No. 1, 2022


The Contemporary Interpretation of Information and Its Basic Characteristics



Wang Tian’en


As information technology develops, information research has undergone a process whereby our understanding of information has shifted from source to signal and finally to receiver. These three basic perspectives have laid the foundation for a paradigm shift in the understanding of information. Treating them as three “bridge piers” can help build a bridge toward a more adequate understanding of information, one that goes beyond the present widely held form of understanding with its emphasis on information coding. In terms of big data and artificial intelligence, the receptivity relationship of information has become more apparent: information is neither matter nor energy, but a relationship of receptivity based on material energy. Its mature form is the process of the receptivity relationship between receiver and source. As products of the interaction between machine receiver and source, big data and artificial intelligence, together with their development, have driven the continuous expansion of information. This process not only involves a basic paradigm shift in the integration of philosophy and science but can also systematically bring out the basic characteristics of information, including the nature of information creation, emergence, reciprocity, and sharing. As a basic fact of information, the understanding of the basic characteristics of information and its receptivity relationship constitutes a two-way interpretation which not only manifests receiver practice at the information level, but also allows us to hope for an integrated theoretical and practical basis for decoding the mystery of consciousness, the development of the generalized utilization of artificial intelligence, and giving people a deeper  understanding of themselves.