Norbert Wiener's God and Golem: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics PDF

By Norbert Wiener

The new and speedily becoming box of verbal exchange sciences owes as a lot to Norbert Wiener as to anybody guy. He coined the observe for it--cybernetics. In God & Golem, Inc., the writer involved himself with significant issues in cybernetics that are appropriate to spiritual issues.The first aspect he considers is that of the computer which learns. whereas studying is a estate virtually solely ascribed to the self-conscious residing method, a working laptop or computer now exists which not just might be programmed to play a online game of checkers, yet one that can "learn" from its previous event and enhance by itself video game. For a time, the laptop used to be capable of beat its inventor at checkers. "It did win," writes the writer, "and it did discover ways to win; and the tactic of its studying used to be no assorted in precept from that of the individual who learns to play checkers.A moment element issues machines that have the capability to breed themselves. it really is our quite often held trust that God made guy in his personal photograph. The propagation of the race can also be interpreted as a functionality during which one dwelling being makes one other in its personal photograph. however the writer demonstrates that guy has made machines that are "very good in a position to make different machines of their personal image," and those desktop photos aren't in basic terms pictorial representations yet operative photos. do we then say: God is to Golem as guy is to Machines? in Jewish legend, golem is an embryo Adam, shapeless and never totally created, for that reason a monster, an automation.The 3rd aspect thought of is that of the relation among guy and desktop. the fear this is moral. "render unto guy the issues that are man's and unto the pc the issues that are the computer's," warns the writer. during this portion of the booklet, Dr. Wiener considers structures related to parts of guy and machine.The e-book is written for the intellectually alert public and doesn't contain any hugely technical wisdom. it really is in response to lectures given at Yale, on the Société Philosophique de Royaumont, and elsewhere.

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Additional info for God and Golem: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion

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And just so long as we retain one trace of ethical discrimination, the use of great powers for base purposes will constitute the full moral equivalent of Sorcery and Simony. As long as automata can be made, whether in [ 53 ] the metal or merely in principle, the study of their making and their theory is a legitimate phase of human curiosity, and human intelligence is stultified when man sets fixed bounds to his curiosity. Yet there are aspects of the motives to automatization that go beyond a legitimate curiosity and are sinful in themselves.

The product of their outputs, [43] averaged over the entire shot-effect distribution of their common input, will be the coefficients of the white box i n the development of the black box as a sum of all the white boxes with appropriate coefficients. To obtain this is seemingly impossible, as it would appear to involve the study of the system Eor the entire statistical range of shot-effect inputs. However, there is an important accident that enables us to circumvent this difficulty. There is a theorem i n mathematical physics which enables us in certain cases to replace averages over distributions with time averages, not in every single case, but in a set of cases with the probability 1.

I n this process, the feedback goes through us, and we can turn back before it is too late. I f the feedback is built into a machine that cannot be inspected until the final goal is attained, the possibilities for catastrophe are greatly increased. I should very much hate to ride on the first trial of an automobile regulated by photoelectric feedback devices, unless there were somewhere a handle by which I could take over control if I found myself driving smack into a tree.

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God and Golem: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion by Norbert Wiener

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