Active Inference: Pioneering a New Era of Decision-Making and Artificial Intelligence with Daniel Friedman

Spatial Web AI Podcast Episode 6

Watch on YouTube

Listen on Spotify

In one of the most intriguing episodes of the Spatial Web AI podcast that I’ve had the privilege to host, I recently sat down with Daniel Friedman, co-founder and president of the Active Inference Institute. The insights from this conversation promise to shine a light on the curious realm of active inference and its potential to reshape our understanding of decision-making processes and the future of AI.

Demystifying Active Inference

For the uninitiated, active inference is not just another fleeting term in the vast landscape of technology. As Daniel explained, it embodies a unique approach that merges perception, sense-making, decision-making, and action. Its wide-ranging application, from cybernetics to signal processing, showcases its versatility.


Central to this concept is the free energy principle, which underscores the idea of minimal action in informational systems. To simplify, think of active inference as a method to reduce surprises in predictions by enhancing perception. This capacity to refine awareness, particularly in response to new stimuli, is a game-changer for AI, offering it the capability to decipher real-time environments through sensory input.

Explainable AI: Why Active Inference Matters

One of the pressing questions in today’s AI landscape is the quest for model interpretability and explainability . Active inference is garnering attention for precisely this reason. It offers a model that provides both interpretability and explainability. More so, it emphasizes the importance of actions within dynamic systems, setting the stage for AI systems that interact more naturally with their environments.


Daniel also touched upon the significance of active inference in developing generative models, underscoring its profound implications in the future of AI modeling.

Bridging Active Inference with the Spatial Web Protocol

A notable highlight from the interview was the mention of Dr. Karl Friston’s role as Chief Scientist with VERSES AI. Recognizing the potential of the Spatial Web Protocol to translate Active Inference theory into tangible applications marks a significant leap in the realm of AI.

The Significance of Markov Blankets

Another intriguing concept broached during the conversation was that of Markov blankets. These play a pivotal role in active inference and the free energy principle, delineating the statistical interdependencies between nodes.

The Applied Active Inference Symposium

“Enacting Ecosystems of Shared Intelligence”, the upcoming Applied Active Inference Symposium scheduled for August 22, 2023, isn’t just an event; it’s an invitation to explore the practical applications of active inference. With last year’s focus on robotics and its intersection with active inference, this year promises to delve into how active inference can be applied more broadly, especially in online science and participatory ecosystems.


Daniel’s enthusiasm for the symposium was evident. He highlighted the potential of online science and the participatory ecosystems they’re fostering. For those who are curious and wish to immerse themselves in this realm, Daniel pointed them towards Whether you’re looking to join learning groups, access courses on active inference, or simply expand your knowledge base, this platform is a treasure trove of resources.


This latest episode of the Spatial Web AI Podcast, with Daniel Friedman, is not just an informative session; it is a clarion call for researchers, scientists, and enthusiasts to delve deeper into the world of active inference. With its potential only beginning to be realized, Active Inference is poised to redefine the foundations of AI in the years to come.

Special thank you to Daniel Friedman for being on our show!

Curious to learn more about Active Inference? Visit the Active Inference Institute. 

Be sure to register for the 2023 Applied Active Inference Symposium to hear from some of the most brilliant minds in the space like VERSES AI Chief Scientist – Dr. Karl J Friston, Director of Research – Maxwell J D Ramstead, Research Scientist – Mahault Albarracin, and many more.

As mentioned in the interview, here is where you can find the VERSES AI whitepaper titled, “Designing Ecosystems of Intelligence from First Principles.”

#activeinferenceai #FreeEnergyPrinciple #KarlFriston #spatialweb #AIEducation

Denise Holt

Futurist | Advisor | Founder | Keynote Speaker
XR Smart Technologies & The Spatial Web

More Articles by Denise
  • All Post
  • Blog Articles
Load More

End of Content.