The term Cybernetics has its origins in the Greek for “Governance” but the interdisciplinary scientific field begin in ernest in the 1940’s as electrical networks, early computing and information theory gave birth to knew analytical tools for understanding systems. Wikipedia defines Cybernetics as follows
The field includes but is not limited to the study of learning, cognition, adaptation, social control, emergence, convergence, communication, efficiency, efficacy, and connectivity. The common thread is the flow of information, its effects on decisions and turn how those decisions change system states and ultimately the flow of information. This study abstracted away from a particular context and where possible universal patterns and properties are identified and even designed around.
The structure of our modern world is increasingly dominated by technologically mediated networks and the algorithms that govern those networks. In order to understand where we are and where we are going it is important to revisit the boundaries between human and machine decision making, as they have fundamentally different characters.
In this talk, the lens of Cybernetics will be used to discuss the opportunities and perils associated with AI and blockchain as critical infrastructure in our social and economic networks.