Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Brockman I 179
Cybernetics/Ashby/Hillis: a control system needed to be as complex as the system it controlled. Cyberneticist W. Ross Ashby proved that this was true in a precise mathematical sense, in what is now called Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, or sometimes the First Law of Cybernetics. The law tells us that to control a system completely, the controller must be as complex as the controlled. Thus cyberneticists tended to see control systems as a kind of analog of the systems they governed, like the homunculus - the hypothetical little person inside the brain who controls the actual person. This notion of analogous structure is sometimes confused with the notion of analog encoding of messages, but the two are logically distinct. >Cybernetics/Hillis.



Hillis, D. W. “The First Machine Intelligences” in: Brockman, John (ed.) 2019. Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. New York: Penguin Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ashby, W. Ross
Brockman I
John Brockman
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI New York 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-09-15
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