Boyd, A. B.,Mandal, D.,Riechers, P. M.,Crutchfield, J. P

A central result that arose in applying information theory to the stochastic thermodynamics of nonlinear dynamical systems is the information-processing second law (IPSL): the physical entropy of the Universe can decrease if compensated by the Shannon-Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy change of appropriate information- carrying degrees of freedom. In particular, the asymptotic-rate IPSL precisely delineates the thermodynamic functioning of autonomous Maxwellian demons and information engines. How do these systems begin to function as engines, Landauer erasers, and error correctors? We identify a minimal, and thus inescapable, transient dissipation of physical information processing, which is not captured by asymptotic rates, but is critical to adaptive thermodynamic processes such as those found in biological systems. A component of transient dissipation, we also identify an implementation-dependent cost that varies from one physical substrate to another for the same information processing task. Applying these results to producing structured patterns from a structureless information reservoir, we show that " retrodictive" generators achieve the minimal costs. The results establish the thermodynamic toll imposed by a physical system's structure as it comes to optimally transduce information.