Wiener formulated his theory of cybernetics during World War II, while exploring the interactions between humans and machines in the heat of battle. He found that both adjusted to rapidly changing conditions through feedback loops, as in the case of a gunner calculating when and where to fire or radar equipment locating objects through the boomeranging of radio waves. Wiener developed a central observation: Organisms and machines were similar in their ability to regulate themselves and their environment through communications. Brains and computers were essentially input-output devices, a conclusion reflecting the reigning school of behaviorist psychology. In tandem, humans and machines could form a dynamic and powerful system; left to themselves, machines could, in principle, develop intelligence and the ability to self-replicate. They might even replace humanity.
Source: The Man-Machine Myth – WSJ