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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Eno describes David's first adventure into the world of cybernetics and the making of their trilogy of albums.
▪ Ranging from Udaltsova's impassioned realism to Nussberg's cerebral cybernetics, the stylistic range of the nonconformists was indeed wide.
▪ The cost involved in taking these cybernetics down is too high.
▪ The perplexing answer suggested by cybernetics is: it emerges from itself.
▪ This attitude changed by the 1950s and was emphasized by the development of cybernetics, information theory and operations research.
▪ Walter also developed models that mimicked brain systems and this involved him with Norbert Wiener and others in early work on cybernetics.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

coined 1948 by U.S. mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) from Greek kybernetes "steersman" (metaphorically "guide, governor") + -ics; perhaps based on 1830s French cybernétique "the art of governing."\nThe future offers very little hope for those who expect that our new mechanical slaves will offer us a world in which we may rest from thinking. Help us they may, but at the cost of supreme demands upon our honesty and our intelligence. [Norbert Wiener, "God and Golem, Inc.," 1964]


n. 1 The theory/science of communication and control in the animal and the machine. 2 The art/study of governing, controlling automatic processes and communication. 3 Technology related to computers and Internet.


n. (biology) the field of science concerned with processes of communication and control (especially the comparison of these processes in biological and artificial systems)

Cybernetics (disambiguation)

Cybernetics may refer to:

  • Cybernetics, the theory of communication and control based on regulatory feedback. This is the original definition of the term.
    • Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, a 1948 book by Norbert Wiener

The original modern day definition of term "cybernetics" was created by Norbert Wiener in the 1940s. The theory of communication and or control, as well as the term "feedback" are only elements of a transdisciplinary body of knowledge labeled cybernetics.

  • In popular culture, the study of cyborgs and robotic implants and prosthetics. Cyberware is technology that attempts to create a working interface between machines/computers and the human nervous system, including (but not limited to) the brain.
  • Sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for robotics
  • Second-order cybernetics, the study of Cybernetics but the observer is seen as a participating part of the system in focus
  • New Cybernetics, the study of First- and Second-order cybernetics

Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems, their structures, constraints, and possibilities. In the 21st century, the term is often used in a rather loose way to imply "control of any system using technology."

Cybernetics is relevant to the study of systems, such as mechanical, physical, biological, cognitive, and social systems. Cybernetics is applicable when a system being analyzed incorporates a closed signaling loop; that is, where action by the system generates some change in its environment and that change is reflected in that system in some manner ( feedback) that triggers a system change, originally referred to as a "circular causal" relationship.

System dynamics, a related field, originated with applications of electrical engineering control theory to other kinds of simulation models (especially business systems) by Jay Forrester at MIT in the 1950s.

Concepts studied by cyberneticists include, but are not limited to: learning, cognition, adaptation, social control, emergence, communication, efficiency, efficacy, and connectivity. These concepts are studied by other subjects such as engineering and biology, but in cybernetics these are abstracted from the context of the individual organism or device.

Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics in 1948 as "the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine." The word cybernetics comes from Greek κυβερνητική (kybernetike), meaning "governance", i.e., all that are pertinent to κυβερνάω (kybernao), the latter meaning "to steer, navigate or govern", hence κυβέρνησις (kybernesis), meaning "government", is the government while κυβερνήτης (kybernetes) is the governor or the captain. Contemporary cybernetics began as an interdisciplinary study connecting the fields of control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology in the 1940s, often attributed to the Macy Conferences. During the second half of the 20th century cybernetics evolved in ways that distinguish first-order cybernetics (about observed systems) from second-order cybernetics (about observing systems). More recently there is talk about a third-order cybernetics (doing in ways that embraces first and second-order).

Fields of study which have influenced or been influenced by cybernetics include game theory, system theory (a mathematical counterpart to cybernetics), perceptual control theory, sociology, psychology (especially neuropsychology, behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology), philosophy, architecture, and organizational theory.

Usage examples of "cybernetics".

Its research labs and prototype assembly shop were physically isolated, a cuboid composite building sitting at the centre of a quadrangle formed by offices and cybernetics halls.

Though Sheila was an ork, she was virgin of the cybernetics that would have given the dwarf further advantage in a fight.

Some excellent minds were put on this, both cybernetics experts and biologists, biophysicists and biochemists, medical researchers, you name it.

He, too, had traveled the country and crossed the ocean to spread the word of cybernetics in his field of neurophysiology and throughout the sciences, and early in 1951 Wiener returned the favor.

Cybernetics, its sister sciences of information theory and system theory, and their descendants in the new sciences of complexity and human communica-tion offer scientists and nonscientists alike new ways to think systematically and strategically, to solve problems, paint scenarios, and identify potential tumble spots before disaster strikes.

By the late 1950s, cybernetics was being superseded by the specialized technical fields and subdisciplines it had spawned, and Wiener himself wound up on the sidelines of his own revolution.

The lifeboats can hold several tens of thousands of people in suspension, along with all the manufacturing cybernetics necessary to establish an advanced technological human society from scratch on a new world.

Meanwhile on Shintaro the O-daiko-yan quietly continued to turn out subtly adjusted AI components, aware that at any moment it might be identified as the source of all the trouble by the small horde of robotics and cybernetics specialists who were going rapidly nutso trying to divine precisely that.

I rouble by the small horde of robotics and cybernetics specialists who were going rapidly nutso trying to divine precisely that.

Second, you people will be provided with the means to carry out your hopes for human research, involving as it does a total application of bionics and cybernetics.

And the two laboratories, bionics and cybernetics, used the code name of Slab Rock, which became the official name of the post office.

But then I discovered the potential of cybernetics, Dumuzi, and now I am no longer prey to the ills and sorrows of the flesh.

Our electronic constructs are becoming so complex that to comprehend them we must now reverse the analogizing of cybernetics and try to reason from our own mentation and behavior to theirs -- although I suppose to assign motive or purpose to them would be to enter the realm of paranoia.

The same craving also came upon the secretary of a famous author, a judge of domestic relations, a job analyst screening applicants for the United Hotel Association, an industrial designer, an efficiency engineer, the Chairman of Amalgamated Union's Grievance Committee, Titan's Superintendent of Cybernetics, a Secretary of Political Psychology, two Cabinet members, five Parliamentary Leaders, and scores of other Esper clients of Spaceland at work and at play.

Being only about to finish high school his training had gone no farther than tensor calculus, statistical mechanics, simple transfinities, generalized geometries of six dimensions, and, on the practical side, analysis for electronics, primary cybernetics and robotics, and basic design of analog computers.