God and Golem, Inc. by Norbert Wiener
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God and Golem, Inc.
By Norbert Wiener

God and Golem, Inc.

A Comment on Certain Points Where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion

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Format: Paperback

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God and Golem, Inc. by Norbert Wiener

Book Description

The new and rapidly growing field of communication sciences owes as much to Norbert Wiener as to any one man. He coined the word for it--cybernetics. In God & Golem, Inc., the author concerned himself with major points in cybernetics which are relevant to religious issues.The first point he considers is that of the machine which learns. While learning is a property almost exclusively ascribed to the self-conscious living system, a computer now exists which not only can be programmed to play a game of checkers, but one which can "learn" from its past experience and improve on its own game. For a time, the machine was able to beat its inventor at checkers. "It did win," writes the author, "and it did learn to win; and the method of its learning was no different in principle from that of the human being who learns to play checkers.A second point concerns machines which have the capacity to reproduce themselves. It is our commonly held belief that God made man in his own image. The propagation of the race may also be interpreted as a function in which one living being makes another in its own image. But the author demonstrates that man has made machines which are "very well able to make other machines in their own image," and these machine images are not merely pictorial representations but operative images. Can we then say: God is to Golem as man is to Machines? in Jewish legend, golem is an embryo Adam, shapeless and not fully created, hence a monster, an automation.The third point considered is that of the relation between man and machine. The concern here is ethical. "render unto man the things which are man's and unto the computer the things which are the computer's," warns the author. In this section of the book, Dr. Wiener considers systems involving elements of man and machine.The book is written for the intellectually alert public and does not involve any highly technical knowledge. It is based on lectures given at Yale, at the Societe Philosophique de Royaumont, and elsewhere.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262730112
ISBN-10: 0262730111
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 140mm x 6mm)
Pages: 110
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 26-Dec-1990
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Norbert Wiener

Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications by Norbert Wiener Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications, Paperback (November 1988)

The book was written from lectures given at the University of Cambridge and maintains throughout a high level of rigour.

Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener Human Use of Human Beings, Paperback (March 1988)

Only a few books stand as landmarks in social and scientific upheaval. Norbert Wiener's classic is one in that small company. Founder of the science of cybernetics--the study of the relationship betwee

Extrapolation, Interpolation, and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series by Norbert Wiener Extrapolation, Interpolation, and Smoothing of Stationary Time Series, Paperback (December 1949)

The basis for modern communication theory by one of the founders of the field of artificial intelligence.

» View all books by Norbert Wiener

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Author Biography - Norbert Wiener

Norbert Wiener served in the Department of Mathematics at MIT from 1919 until his death in 1964. In 1963, he was awarded The National Medal of Science for his contributions in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and biological science.

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Recent books by Norbert Wiener close
Fourier Integral and Certain of its Applications by Norbert Wiener
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