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Last updated date: 18th May 2024
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Cybernetics Meaning

The Cybernetics definition goes as it is connected with models in which a monitor differentiates what is happening to a system at various sampling times with some standard of what should be happening, and accordingly, a controller adjusts the behavior of the system.

The term cybernetics originates from the Greek word kybernetika (“good at steering”), which refers to the art of the helmsman. In the first half of the 19th century, in the classification of the sciences, the French physicist André-Marie Ampère suggested that the still nonexistent science of all the government’s control be called cybernetics. 

The term was very soon forgotten. It was not used again by anyone until the American mathematician Norbert Wiener published his book Cybernetics in the year 1948. In that book, Wiener referred to an article of 1868 by the British physicist James Clerk Maxwell on governors and also pointed out that the term governor has been derived, from Latin, from the same Greek word that has given rise to cybernetics. The date of Wiener’s publication is usually accepted as marking the birth of the cybernetics subject as an independent science. Wiener gave the cybernetics definition as “the science of control and also communications in the animal and machine.” This cybernetics definition relates to cybernetics closely with the theory of automatic control as well as with physiology, precisely the physiology of the nervous system. For example, a “controller” may be a human brain, which is receiving signals from a “monitor” (the eyes) regarding the distance between a reaching hand and an object that has to be picked up. 

The information that has been sent by the monitor to the controller is called feedback. Based on this feedback, the controller might issue instructions to bring the observed behavior i.e. the reach of the hand closer to the desired behavior i.e the picking up of the object. The study of control rules by which human action takes place, and also to construct artificial limbs which will be helped to be tied in with the brain was some of the earliest work done in cybernetics.

In the following years, computers and areas of mathematics related to it (e.g., mathematical logic) had a huge influence on the development of cybernetics—for the simple reason, computers can be used for automatic calculation and all conversions of information. This includes the various types of information processing that are used in control systems. This ability of computers has made two different views of cybernetics possible. The narrower view, which is common in Western countries, gives cybernetics meaning as the science of the control of complex systems of different types that are technical, biological, or social. 

In many Western countries, particularly the aspects of cybernetics used in the generation of control systems in technology and also in living organisms. A broader view of cybernetics arose in Russian land as well as in other Soviet republics and prevailed there for many years. In this broader sense, cybernetics' meaning includes the science of control and all forms of information processing. In this way, computer science is considered a discrete discipline in the Western world and is included as one of the parts of cybernetics.

People now are keener to know and research upon every aspect of cybernetics and therefore, renowned universities have also opened their doors for students for open learning cybernetics. This will enhance our knowledge in this field further and for the better.

Macy Conferences

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Macy Conferences were a set of meetings of scholars from different disciplines. By the initiative of Warren McCulloch and the Macy Foundation, Macy conferences were held in New York from the year 1946 to 1953. The crucial purpose of these series of conferences was only and only to set the foundations for a general science of the working of the human mind. It was one of the first organized interdisciplinarity studies that spawned breakthroughs in systems theory, cybernetics, and what later became known as cognitive science.

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation organized the Macy Conferences and was motivated by Lawrence K. Frank as well as Frank Fremont-Smith of the Macy Foundation. The participants in the Macy Conferences were the leading scientists from a wide range of fields. Casual recollections of several participants stress the communicative difficulties.

What is Economic Cybernetics?    

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Economic cybernetics is a scientific field concerned with the application of cybernetic ideas and methods to economic systems. Economic cybernetics is often taken to mean the field of science that developed at the junction of mathematics and also cybernetics with economics. Economic cybernetics includes mathematical programming, operations research, mathematical economic models, econometrics, and also mathematical economics.

Economic cybernetics includes the economy, its structural and also functional components as systems where the processes of regulation and control are carried on by the movement and conversion of information. There is a possibility by the methods of economic cybernetics to standardize this information and articulate it. There is also a possibility to streamline the receipt, transmission, and also processing of economic information and also work out the structure as well as the composition of data-processing equipment. 

It is this approach that gives the research in economic cybernetics its internal unity and also character. This kind of research serves specifically as the theoretical basis for building automated control systems and also data-processing systems for the nation’s economy.

Understanding the Cybernetics System

The cybernetic system is a set of interrelated objects, that are called the elements of the system, that have the capability of receiving, storing, and also processing data, and exchanging them. There are many examples of cybernetic systems and that are the various kinds of automatic control devices in engineering. For instance, an automatic pilot or a controller that maintains a constant temperature in a room, electronic computers, the human brain, biological populations, as well as human society.

The elements of a cybernetic system are the objects of any nature whose state can be completely described by the values of a certain set of parameters. For the majority of the concrete applications of cybernetics, the consideration of the parameters of two types is enough. The first type of parameter is called continuous parameters and can assume any real value in a certain interval. For instance, the interval from 1 to 2 or from ∞ to + ∞. The second type of parameter is called discrete parameters, which assume finite sets of values. For instance, a value equal to any decimal number or the values “yes” or “no.”

FAQs on Cybernetics

1. What is Cybernetics (ano ang cybernetics)? What is the Meaning of the Words "Kahulugan ng Cybernetics" in English?

Ans. Cybernetics is the science of automatic control systems and communication in both living and non-living objects. In other words, cybernetics is the transdisciplinary approach to explore the purposive and regulatory system i.e; their structures, possibilities, and constraints. The basic concept of cybernetics is circular feedback or casualties, that is, the outcome of every action is taken as an input for further actions.

The Filipino sentence "kahulugan ng cybernetics" means "definition of cybernetics" in English. We have broadly explained the definition of cybernetics above. You may go through it for your better understanding of cybernetics.

2. Briefly Explain the Origin of Cybernetics and how It Helps Us in Daily Life.

Ans. Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics, envisioned the brain-machine interface in the year 1940, which could enhance performances of various fields which needed much improvement. Hence, cybernetics has its origins in the fields of electrical network theory, control systems, mechanical engineering, neuroscience, logic modeling, anthropology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and psychology in 1940, during Macy Conferences.

Cybernetics took the market by storm only after its detailed publication, in 1948, in a book by Norbert Wiener named “Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine''. In it, he explained how he and his colleagues had chosen the term cybernetics from the Ancient Greek word "kibernetike", which means, the art of steering.

His invention opened the doors of several opportunities for humans to enhance their capabilities to restore any functions with the help of machine learning, robotics, and smart materials and to quickly expand their work or industries.