Weiner’s work laid the theoretical foundations for analog computing, artificial intelligence, neuroscience and telecommunications. The New York Times declared Cybernetics “one of the 'seminal works' comparable in ultimate importance to Galileo or Malthus or Rousseau or Mill.” It became a surprise bestseller with its readership extending far beyond its intended technical and academic audience.
Cybernetics provoked such public interest that Wiener wrote The Human Use of Human Beings two years later to address the sociological and political issues raised. The basic theory can be best conveyed in Wiener's own words:
“Society can only be understood through a study of the messages and the communication facilities which belong to it; and that in the future development of these messages and communication facilities, messages between man and machines, between machines and man, and between machine and machine, are destined to play an ever-increasing part” (The Human Use of Human Beings, p.9).
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