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What Is Cybernetics?

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Cybernetics is a branch of science that’s often associated with sci-fi themes. Actually, cybernetics is more than a science, because it is also a multidisciplinary field that encompasses philosophy and arts as well. Cybernetics is associated with the “Self-governance”. There is no exact definition of cybernetics and each scientist or expert could have different opinion. The famous French physicist Andre AMrie Ampere already mentioned the word “cybernetique” in 19th century. Philosophers consider cybernetics as communications between observers and the environment. There are actually dozens of approaches to better understand cybernetics and they could exist side by side. Cybernetics is also mentioned in technological developments, especially in terms of automation and robotics. It requires intellectual expressions, associated with control and computation. In this case, it could be associated with the concept of self-reference and this will have a relation with artificial intelligence. It means that machines could have the ability to experience autonomy, have purposes and make identifications. It could also mean that cybernetics could actually make machines more humane.

Before making this kind of machines, experts and scientists will need to better understand how people and the surrounding environment have evolved. This would mean that cybernetics will be related to principles in anthropology. They will need to develop simulations of how these machines could have relationships among with one another based on specific measurable variables. Cybernetics can potentially become a very complex field, because there are different theories, models and social systems that we need to consider. We need to consider whether automatons with embedded artificial intelligence should be fully controlled or whether they need to have free actions based on specific parameters. More studies will be needed to describe these kinds of systems and how they should be organized and controlled. In this case, these machines are not considered as those with pre-programmed instructions. Despite its relatively short history, cybernetics have attracted the attention of many people, such as scientists, anthropologists, programmers and others.

It is clear that self-regulating devices are not something new. Their early forms have been made millennia ago. James Watts added a governor in its steam engines and this has added the ability to perform specific things. Such regulatory processes continue to become more evolved, especially after the emergence of computers with its digital implementations. Automatons will no longer work based a series of “ifs”, but could make arbitrary decisions according to artificial intelligence principles. It is not clear when such an automaton would work in real life, but at the moment, we could gain inspirations from sci-fi movies and TV series. Compared to other branches of science, cybernetics are still moving rather slowly. However, we will continue to see additional implementations that could prove to be worthwhile in the long run. It is hoped that we will see resurgence in interests, especially when all the related fields could accommodate further developments. At the moment, we could just enjoy all the sci-fi themes related to cybernetics.

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