An information processor or information processing system, as its name suggests, is a system (be it electrical, mechanical or biological) which takes information (a sequence of enumerated states) in one form and processes (transforms) it into another form, e.g. to statistics, by an algorithmic process.
An information processing system is made up of four basic parts, or sub-systems:
An object may be considered an information processor if it receives information from another object and in some manner changes the information before transmitting it. This broadly defined term can be used to describe every change which occurs in the universe. As an example, a falling rock could be considered an information processor due to the following observable facts:
First, information in the form of gravitational force from the earth serves as input to the system we call a rock. At a particular instant the rock is a specific distance from the surface of the earth traveling at a specific speed. Both the current distance and speed properties are also forms of information which for that instant only may be considered "stored" in the rock.
In the next instant, the distance of the rock from the earth has changed due to its motion under the influence of the earth's gravity. Any time the properties of an object change a process has occurred meaning that a processor of some kind is at work. In addition, the rock's new position and increased speed is observed by us as it falls. These changing properties of the rock are its "output."
It could be argued that in this example both the rock and the earth are the information processing system being observed since both objects are changing the properties of each other over time. If information is not being processed no change would occure at all.
- Data, Data processing, Information system
- Holographic principle - an information processing conjecture about physics