Cybernetics

Cybernetics
   1) The Parallel Nature of Feedback in Living Individuals and Communication Machines
   It is my thesis that the physical functioning of the living individual and the operation of some of the newer communication machines are precisely parallel in their analogous attempts to control entropy through feedback. Both of them have sensory receptors as one stage of their cycle of operation: that is, in both of them there exists a special apparatus for collecting information from the outer world at low energy levels, and for making it available in the operation of the individual or of the machine.
   In both cases these external messages are not taken neat, but through the internal transforming powers of the apparatus, whether it be alive or dead. The information is then turned into a new form available for the further stages of performance. In both the animal and the machine this performance is made to be effective on the outer world. In both of them, their performed action on the outer world, and not merely their intended action, is reported back to the central regulatory apparatus. (Wiener, 1954, pp. 26-27)
   2) The Study of Information Transfer
   [The job of the cyberneticist] is the study of information transfer: the converting of information from one form to another-the human voice into radio waves and back into sound once more, or a complex mathematical equation into a set of punched holes on a tape, to be fed into a computer and then into a set of traces on reels of magnetic tape in the computer's "memory store." . . . To him, protein synthesis is just such another case. The mechanism for ensuring the exact replication of a protein chain by a new cell is that of transferring the information about the protein structure from the parent to the daughter cell. (Rose, 1970, p. 162)
   3) Why Computational Devices Are Likely to Be Literal Minded
   The theme of all these tales [("Fisherman and the Jinni" in the Thousand Nights and a Night; The Sorcerer's Apprentice; and "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs)] is the danger of magic. This seems to lie in the fact that the operation of magic is singularly literal-minded, and that if it grants you anything at all it grants what you ask for, not what you should have asked for or what you intend. . . .
   The magic of automation, and in particular the magic of an automatization in which the devices learn, may be expected to be similarly literal-minded. If you are playing a game according to certain rules and set the playing-machine to play for victory, you will get victory if you get anything at all, and the machine will not pay the slightest attention to any consideration except victory according to the rules. If you are playing a war game with a certain conventional interpretation of victory, victory will be the goal at any cost, even that of the extermination of your own side, unless this condition of survival is explicitly contained in the definition of victory according to which you program the machine. (Wiener, 1964, pp. 59-60)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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  • cybernetics — cy‧ber‧net‧ics [ˌsaɪbəˈnetɪks ǁ bər ] noun [uncountable] COMPUTING the scientific study of the way in which information is moved about and controlled in machines and in the human brain. In business, cybernetics is mainly concerned with making… …   Financial and business terms

  • CYBERNETICS — and Systems Analysis (A Translation of Kibernetika i Sistemnyi Analiz) (formerly Cybernetics (A Translation of Kibernetika)) (informationswissenschaftl. Veoeffentlichungen) …   Acronyms

  • CYBERNETICS — and Systems Analysis (A Translation of Kibernetika i Sistemnyi Analiz) (formerly Cybernetics (A Translation of Kibernetika)) (informationswissenschaftl. Veröffentlichungen) …   Acronyms von A bis Z

  • cybernetics — (n.) coined 1948 by U.S. mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894 1964) from Gk. kybernetes steersman (metaphorically guide, governor ) + ICS (Cf. ics); perhaps based on 1830s Fr. cybernétique the art of governing. The future offers very little hope… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cybernetics — 1. The term was introduced in 1948 by Norbert Wiener, meaning ‘the theory or study of communication and control in living organisms or machines’. The word was derived from the Greek word kubernetes ‘steersman’. It spread rapidly to refer to… …   Modern English usage

  • cybernetics — [n] science studying brain function to design analagous mechanical systems artificial intelligence, automatic technology, automation, autonetics, electronic communication, radiodynamics, robotization, telemechanics; concepts 274,349 …   New thesaurus

  • cybernetics — ► PLURAL NOUN (treated as sing. ) ▪ the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things. DERIVATIVES cybernetic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek kubern t s steersman …   English terms dictionary

  • cybernetics — ☆ cybernetics [sī΄bərnet′iks ] n. [coined (1948) by WIENER Norbert < Gr kybernētēs, helmsman (< kybernan, to steer, GOVERN) + ICS] the science dealing with the comparative study of human control systems, as the brain and nervous system, and …   English World dictionary

  • Cybernetics — For other uses, see Cybernetics (disambiguation). Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first… …   Wikipedia

  • cybernetics — cybernetic, cybernetical, adj. cybernetically, adv. cyberneticist, cybernetician /suy beuhr ni tish euhn/, n. /suy beuhr net iks/, n. (used with a sing. v.) the study of human control functions and of mechanical and electronic systems designed to …   Universalium

  • cybernetics — [20] Cybernetics was first coined in French, as cybernétique, in the 1830s. But then it was used literally for the ‘art of governing’ (it is a derivative of Greek kubernétēs ‘steersman, governor’, from kubernan ‘steer’, source of English govern) …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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