Human Control and Autonomy in Cybernetic Systems
Georgetown University. Communication, Culture & Technology Graduate Program
Peer reviewed journal of communication, culture, and technologyThis paper is meant to question the idea that humans in cybernetic systems are autonomous in the traditional western liberal conception. Examination of the history of cybernetics reveals conflicts over the role of humans within human/machine systems over a larger period than is traditionally associated with the field of cybernetics. By comparing cybernetic systems from before the 20th century and through the Cold War, it becomes apparent how cybernetics served as an experimental testing ground for political ideologies to express themselves in the budding information age. Comparing cybernetics systems in this manner suggests that cybernetics as a discipline does not inherently support or contradict the ideals of freedom and agency, but rather, cybernetic systems become extensions of the organizations they serve and adopt their parent organizations beliefs
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