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Cybernetics is the communication and control theory, or the science of regulatory feedback, as developed by Norbert Wiener in his Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and machine (1948). The term cybernetics stems from the Greek kybernetis meaning "steersman".

Wiener popularized the social implications of cybernetics, drawing analogies between automatic systems such as a regulated steam engine and human institutions in his best-selling The Human Use of Human Beings : Cybernetics and Society (Houghton-Mifflin, 1950).

When asked why he had chosen the name cybernetics, Wiener replied, "I didn't know what else to call it."

Clynes & Kline popularized the term amongst the masses.

Cybernetics is associated in many people's minds with robotics, due to uses such as Douglas Adams' Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and the concept of a cyborg. In scholarly terms, however, it is the study of systems and control in an abstracted sense - that is, it is not grounded in any empirical field.

A related field is systems theory.

See also: cyborg

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