Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Wiener’s Cybernetics Vs Artificial Intelligence

Cybernetics is a steering function that uses the concepts of communication, information, control and feedback to recognize how complex systems maintain, adapt and self-organize. It is a concept of exploring how the system processes action and reacts to that action by using its feedback. We are using the concept of Cybernetics in our life naturally without realizing it. The concept of cybernetics not only found in mechanical systems but also social and biological systems.

Weiner’s book “Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine” explains how the information is used to provide effective control of everything around us. Weiner explains that the feedback principle is a key feature of life forms from the simplest plants to the most complex animals, which change their actions in response to their environment. Wiener’s vision of cybernetics changed the way everyone thought about computer technology and inspired research into the potential to extend human capabilities with interfaces to sophisticated electronics [1].

It widely misunderstood that the Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics are to be the same thing. However, there are more differences between Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics than similarities. Artificial Intelligence came from a desire to make computers smarter (brain as computers). The underlying feedback mechanism does not play a central role and it assumes that knowing the world is possible and necessary. However, Cybernetics is normally focuses on a class of controlled objects and it came from a desire to understand and build the systems to achieve its goal (goal-directed systems), that is, feedback mechanism used in order to synthesizing the controller to achieve its goal. It holds that it is only necessary and only possible to be coupled to the world sufficiently to achieve goals [2].

After reading this concept, I realized that I’m applying this concept in my current role without realizing it. Software development process and software testing process, together, establish a closed-loop feedback control system. After getting feedback from the software testing process, the software developer would modify the software to achieve its desire goal.


[1] William, Stewart. "Norbert Wiener Invents Cybernetics." 1996 - 2014, 7 Jan. 2000. Web. 19 June 2015. <>.

[2] Pangaro, Paul. "Getting Started” Guide to Cybernetics." Getting Started” Guide to Cybernetics. Copyright @ Paul Pangaro, 2013. Web Accessed on 19 June 2015. <>