MDST110 Electronic Coursebook for Students
Information Technology and Digital Media Studies
Prof. David Golumbia
University of Virginia
Fall 2004
MDST110 main pageMDST110 syllabus

8. Key Figures: Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Norbert Wiener

Weds Sep 29, 2004

An examination of three major figures, each of whom saw profound connections between the operations of computers and those of parts of the physical and/or biological world, looking for commonalities and differences in their views.

I. Alan Turing

II. John von Neumann

III. Norbert Wiener and Cybernetics


Study Questions

  1. What is shared in Wiener's views on cybernetics and Turing's views on morphogenesis?
  2. What has become of cybernetics in contemporary thought?
  3. Have computers achieved the test Turing set for them?
  4. Have computers lived up to Wiener's expectations, and/or his fears, for the interactions of human beings and machines?

Reading for next class

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