STV 205: Cybernetics and Society

STV205 – Cybernetics and Society

Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of systems regulated by feedback. It originated with the problem of automating anti-aircraft guns during the Second World War and later exploded when its concepts of control and communication were applied to biological and social systems, accelerating the expansion of automation and spawning the quest for artificial intelligence. Today its influence continues with the production of humanoid robots and the making of post-human cyborgs. This survey course of historical figures and popular culture generates its own feedback loops by questioning what it means to be human in a surveillance society anxious about controlling our technologies for fear that they maybe controlling us.