<robotics> /si:`b*-net'iks/ The study of control and communication in
living and man-made systems.
The term was first proposed by Norbert Wiener in the book referenced below.
Originally, cybernetics drew upon electrical engineering, mathematics, biology,
neurophysiology, anthropology, and psychology to study and describe actions,
feedback, and response in systems of all kinds. It aims to understand the
similarities and differences in internal workings of organic and machine
processes and, by formulating abstract concepts common to all systems, to
understand their behaviour.
Modern "second-order cybernetics" places emphasis on how the process of
constructing models of the systems is influenced by those very systems, hence an
elegant definition - "applied epistemology".
Related recent developments (often referred to as sciences of complexity) that
are distinguished as separate disciplines are artificial intelligence, neural
networks, systems theory, and chaos theory, but the boundaries between those and
cybernetics proper are not precise.
See also robot.
The Cybernetics Society of the UK.
American Society for Cybernetics.
IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society.
International project "Principia Cybernetica".
Usenet newsgroup: sci.systems.
["Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine", N.
Wiener, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1948]
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