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What is Cybernetics

Cybernetics is the study of systems that use feedback to control their behavior. It is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses a wide range of subjects, including engineering, biology, psychology, and computer science. The term "cybernetics" was coined by Norbert Wiener in the 1940s to describe the science of communication and control in living organisms and machines.

There are several key concepts in cybernetics, including:

  • Feedback: A system's output is used to modify its input, allowing the system to adjust its behavior in response to changes in its environment.
  • Homeostasis: The ability of a system to maintain a stable internal environment despite external changes.
  • Self-organization: The ability of a system to spontaneously form patterns or structures without external guidance.
  • Adaptive systems: Systems that can change their behavior in response to changes in their environment.

Cybernetics has had a wide-ranging impact on various fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, biology, and psychology. It has also influenced the development of control systems in engineering and has been applied to the study of social and economic systems.

See Also

  • Systems Theory - An interdisciplinary study of complex systems, of which cybernetics is a subset, focused on systems' feedback loops and control mechanisms.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) - A broad field concerning the simulation of human intelligence in machines; cybernetics has historical and conceptual links to AI.
  • Information Theory - A field related to the quantification of information, often intersecting with cybernetic studies of communication and control.
  • Human Computer Interaction (HCI) - A discipline focused on the interfaces between humans and computers; has intersections with cybernetic concepts.
  • Automation - The technology by which a process is performed without human intervention; closely related to cybernetic principles of control.
  • Game Theory - A mathematical model of strategic interaction; that has been studied in conjunction with cybernetic models of behavior and decision-making.
  • Neural Network - A set of algorithms modeled after the human brain; that bears similarities to cybernetic theories about neural control and feedback.
  • Operations Research - A field that uses mathematical models to make optimal decisions; overlaps with cybernetic interests in optimization and control.