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The Future of Cybernetics

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm

Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Foster 107

Cybernetics is the scientific study of communication of animals and machines. The field was founded by Norbert Wiener in 1948. Cybernetics has been taken up to explore how humans can become cyborgs (cybernetic organisms), bionic beings.

In this meeting of Future Café, we will be imagining how cybernetics and cyborgs might develop in 100, 200 years. What are the applications of cybernetics? What will happen if we become cyborgs? Are we already cyborgs?

Anthropologist Margaret Mead explored how cybernetics could be used to create a cross-disciplinary language for experts. And Donna Haraway, professor at UCSC, argues that uploading our consciousness into machine bodies, becoming cyborgs, will solve dualisms of human and animal, human-animal and machine, self and other, mind and body, and binary gender. She writes in her hailed “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1991), “This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia.” She declares, “We can be responsible for machines. They do not dominate us or threaten us. We are responsible for boundaries; we are they.”

We look forward to hearing your imaginative ideas. Future Café is an open discussion for all University of Chicago undergraduate students from all majors and with different knowledges of cybernetics.