Norbert Wiener defined "cybernetics" as
the science of transmitting messages between man and machine,
or from machine to machine. The term cybernetics has its roots
in the Greek word for "steersman" or "governor," and Wiener's
use of it suggests how people interact with machines through
a controlling device, such as a steering mechanism. Wiener's
remarkable insight, which is the premise behind all human-computer
interactivity and interface design, is that human communication
should be a model for human-machine and machine-to-machine interactions.
Wiener claims that the quality of man-machine
communication influences man's inner well-being. His theory
of cybernetics was meant to improve the quality of our existence
in a technological society, where people are increasingly reliant
on machines, and where interactions with machines are the norm.
The design of machines, and their ability to respond effectively
to us, has a direct impact on the social condition.