Norbert Wiener Learning Center
A resource about cybernetics and the work of Norbert Wiener
“The world of the future will be an ever more demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence,
not a comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot slaves.” — Norbert Wiener
Inspired by the development of new information and communication technologies, Norbert Wiener was a pioneer in the development of what he called cybernetics, the study of “control and communication in the animal and the machine.” Later he came to realize that “the cybernetic circle of ideas, from being a program for the future and a pious hope” to “a working technique in engineering, in biology, in medicine, and in sociology,” had “undergone a great internal development.” Wiener came to understand that the social consequences of cybernetics demanded immediate attention.
Norbert Wiener’s concern about the man-machine relationship and its social implications is explored in this website. The teachings of Wiener and those inspired by him form the beginning of what we hope will be a growing collection of multi-media materials that attempt to inform and inspire dialogue during this pivotal moment in human history when electronic communications challenge humanity’s control of its destiny .
View presentations from the 2014 IEEE Conference – “Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century”
Watch the introductory video “Remaining Human”, created exclusively for this website
Audio and Transcripts
All conference videos include transcripts and downloadable audio files for offline listening
“It is easy to make a simple machine which will run toward the light or run away from it, and if such machines also contain lights of their own, a number of them together will show complicated forms of social behavior…”
Source: Norbert Wiener Learning Center