Kelvin Goyayi & Gabriel Karsan
Date: 16th Jan, 2022
A system goal is to be a heuristic autonomous agent.
Cybernetics seems agreeable as a phenomenon through its achievement and its universal presence among a number of systems.
Cybernetics as a concept that defined a functional mechanism for understanding complex systems involving multi-disciplinary approaches to achieve an autonomous agent.
The term Cybernetics was derived from the Greek word Kubernetes which means steering, regulating or governing. In normal times a mechanism for controlling discrete units with a holistic approach that can self-regulate and self-actionize.
According to Nobert Wiener who popularized the term cybernetics in his book titled Cybernetics; he defined Cybernetic as “the science of control and communication in the animal and machine” . Refers to a holistic system which primarily focuses on automatic control and maintenance based on a Viable System Model, a framework which offers self-regulation to obtain and maintain a defined and desired goal or purpose of a system; whereas the observed output is taken and refined by the feedback loop mechanism which acts as input into a system and form a circularly-causal loop of maintenance of the desired output in comparison to the defined goal.
A circularly-casual loop of a refined input signal which is controlled by the feedback mechanism from the monitored output signal can be achieved by the system’s abilities to adapt the dynamic changes of its input-output, such a system’s achievement is considered to be a Cybernetic System.
Cybernetics is generally explained as a “Control Theory” of complex systems, in today’s world, this implies the “control of any system using technology” . A common example is a “Thermostat” , a temperature self-regulatory technology device to maintain and control the dynamic changes of temperature of the device to the desired temperature set point in scope, this is accomplished through a feedback mechanism which responds to temperature changes in heater and a sensor to achieve that .
Cybernetic at its basic is a concept of an observed system which is based on the core essential feedback mechanism to control and maintain its outcome for sustainable self-production. In that sense, there is an external observer who has not been recognized, and that, later was categorized as First-Order Cybernetics a “cybernetics of observed system.” The improved one which was developed in the 1960s by Margaret Mead and others, the participation of observers was acknowledged and appreciated in the system observation. This raised a concept of “cybernetics of observing systems” where the observer is part of a system and was categorized as Second-Order Cybernetics -a “Cybernetics of Cybernetics” .
According to Heinz von Foerster, Gordon Pask distinguishes two orders of analysis. The one in which the observer enters the system by stipulating the system’s purpose. We may call this a ‘first-order stipulation’. In a ‘second-order stipulation’ the observer enters the system by stipulating his own purpose” . This means that First-Order Cybernetics, a system cannot learn and adapt to the dynamic changes that observer desires; whereas a Second-Order Cybernetics, a system offers the ability to learn and adapt to observer desire’s.
There are other higher orders of cybernetics to be developed, the next in phase is the Third-Order Cybernetics called “Metacybernetics” which is in the development stage with peers attempt to define it but have not gain much acceptance. But First Order Cybernetics and Second Order Cybernetics remain as a fundamental of cybernetics where all other orders can be traced back to the observed system and acknowledgement of the observer -observing the system.
- Designing Cybernetics System
In designing a cybernetics system, we must first be aware of the concept of ‘goal’ in a system and understand design processes. A goal can be defined as the preferred state of outcome selected over other states. Selection of a goal is a conscious decision made by the observer (human being) in favor of his desirable state. Therefore, a goal can possibly be anything that a man can stipulate a system to attain and maintain the desired state. .
Second-Order Cybernetics’ primary principal is inclusion of the observer in the system observation, indicating a circular-causality in which the observer can influence the system’s goal or purpose to his own desires. With that in mind, the observer that is a human being, is part of the system but a peculiar one. 
Therefore, cybernetics system design processes shall involve Design Thinking approaches to understand the observer’s (human) point of view and the role one can play in a system, thus Human-Centered design is a profound philosophy that emphasizes in this context of a cybernetics system; a consideration and acknowledgement of human in creating a sustainable system.
Cybernetics is in essence a concept that guides us when we are approaching a particular problem in support of Design Thinking approaches and Human Centered notions. By having an awareness of the space we are in and setting the intentions to seek and attain a solution should be our end goal. Therefore, we put forward our abilities to understand our local environment and how its participants are integrated in a holistic manner, that is; users are part of the solution created.
Leveraging the constraint resources available and being able to give out the solution that can sustain and improve itself as part of a system, given that users inputs are constantly collected and improved upon the existing solution or rather a system to increase convenience and efficiency through the interaction and communication between human being and machine.
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