Impact of Norbert Wiener’s Work Today
Norbert Wiener was a visionary who foreshadowed and influenced the arrival of computing, robotics and automation. He was the first to articulate the modern notion of “feedback” and his work heavily influenced legends of twentieth-century science and society: computer pioneer John von Neumann, information theorist Claude Shannon, anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and organized labor kingpin Walter Reuther.
Wiener’s science of cybernetics is the root of all things “cyber” in today’s global technological society. As development and deployment of new cybernetic technologies accelerated, Wiener’s new science and breakthrough discoveries were applied in everyday life realms by governments and commercial enterprises worldwide in ways that have benefited human existence. At the same time, many of those same technological advances have raised the social and human challenges Wiener himself foresaw and tirelessly forewarned of, resulting in his ardent social activism to safeguard “the human use of human beings”.
- In 1949, He Imagined an Age of Robots, John Markoff, New York Times previously unpublished article, 20 May 2013. Wiener concludes: “In short, it is only a humanity which is capable of awe, which will also be capable of controlling the new potentials which we are opening for ourselves. We can be humble and live a good life with the aid of the machines, or we can be arrogant and die.”
- Brilliant Mathematician Norbert Wiener Described the Robo-Apocalypse in 1949, Meghan Neal, May 2013
- Were the Luddites Right? Smart machines and the prospect of technological unemployment, Ronald Bailey, May 2013
- Synopsis: Power Falls in Sync, 9 August 2012
- Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel, Liam Cagney, 26 June 2012
- What is it for? How the 20th century influenced the evolution of science,book review, 16 June 2012
- Sotheby’s to auction off JTA-Albert Einstein letters, 4 June 2012
- Peripheral visionaries who can inspire your marketing strategy, Richard Madden, 3 May 2012
- ‘The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies)’ To Coordinate Citywide Synchronized LED Light Network Via Bicycle, Priscilla Frank, 21 May 2012
- IU East appoints interim Chancellor, 18 May 2012,
- We are strong: Only insofar as we take advantage of our innate abilities and build smarter tools Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Natasha Vita-More, 4 April 2012
- Malthus and Darwin, the population boon Prof. Philip E. Auerswald, 22 April 2012, Global Research
- Turing’s Cathedral by George Dyson – review, Evgeny Morozov, The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2012
- Penn’s 2012 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients, March 20, 2012, Volume 58, No. 26
- Metal, code, flesh: Why we need a ‘Rights of the Internet’ declaration, Nicolás Mendoza, 15 Feb 2012
- Huffington Post, 20 Jan 2012: Globalization 2.0: China’s Parallel Internet
- The Observer, 8 Jan 2012: John Brockman: the man who runs the world’s smartest website
- Scientific American, 15 Dec 2011: I Heard You Like Feedback Loops
- Sowetan, 14 Oct 2011: Media freedom a prop for democracy
September 26th: Norbert Wiener, Vlogbrother John talking enthusiastically about a reading room named after Wiener at a hotel near MIT.
Information wants to be free: Norbert Wiener and AT&T. Adrian Johns from the University of Chicago, author of Piracy – The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates, speaking about Norbert Wiener’s experience with patents and AT&T.
Cybernetics.mov, a summary of Wiener’s ideas with relevant footage.
Norbert Wiener Quotes, a small selection of interesting quotes.
Mathematician’s shelter, a design concept based on Wiener’s holiday cabin (even has a blackboard).