What is Cybernetics?

Cybernetics is a term that can be used as a noun or as an adjective. In the first case, it refers to the scientific specialty that compares the operation of a machine and that of a living being, especially with regard to communication and regulation mechanisms.

As an adjective, cybernetics refers to what is linked to virtual reality and what was produced or controlled through a computer (computer).

The communication and control functions are internal and external phenomena of the systems. In the case of living beings, they are part of their natural capacities. From the study of these functions, cybernetics experts were able to imitate certain facets of the functioning of living organisms in different types of machines.

Cybernetics, as a science, began to develop in the early 1940’s. The progress of computing, informatics, programming and robotics is linked to this field of studies.

Specifically, the birth of the science known as “cybernetics” took place in 1942, and the pioneers in the matter were Arturo Rosenblueth Stearns and Norbert Wiener. Later, in 1950, an American mathematician named Ben Laposky created the concept of electronic abstractions through an analog computer; In short, it was about the manipulation of waves for their recording in electronic media.

The artificial intelligence is one of the major issues experienced significant growth during the fifties, in this case the hand of William Ross Ashby, a doctor and British neurologist. This concept can be defined in a few words as the intelligence exhibited by a machine, thanks to which it is capable of perceiving its environment and making certain decisions that increase its chances of success in the development of its tasks.

One of the great confusions that this concept usually arouses is the idea that artificial intelligence is synonymous with “computers that act infallibly”; Although one of the objectives of cybernetics is to get machines to carry out highly complex activities with the lowest possible error percentage, it also seeks to replicate the characteristics of human beings in robots, and at that point intelligence must admit a certain margin of error to reflect “naturalness.”

The theory of automatic control or regulation is one of the pillars of cybernetics. It is based on the control of a specific state of a process (making a temperature or a speed remain stable and constant, for example). Another important concept is that of feedback: a proportion of an output from the system is redirected back to the input for behavior control.

The concept of feedback is also known as feedback and is one of the most important in the cybernetics framework. In biology, economics, architecture and engineering, among other complex systems, we can also appreciate examples of feedback. It is based on the administrative process, according to which a quantitative and qualitative stage is assigned to control, to support planning.

In short, cybernetics is based on feedback for the development of control systems. Through cybernetics, to cite one case, it is possible to program machines to carry out certain repetitive jobs.

The technological revolution we are witnessing today arose in large part thanks to the development of cybernetics. Among the most important names in this field are John von Neumann (a mathematician who made essential contributions to quantum physics), Alan Turing (a scientist considered one of the forerunners of modern computing), and Norbert Wiener (who coined the term “cybernetics ยป).