Teachers should enrich life, not worship the machine

Norbert Wiener was one of the first and most enthusiastic champions of automation and machine intelligence. But the father of cybernetics, as he was known, was convinced of the continuing value of humans in a more mechanised world.

In a book published in 1950 called The Human Use Of Human Beings, he argued that automation could deliver huge gains to society. But it must only be used for "the benefit of Man, for increasing his leisure and enriching his spiritual life, rather than merely for profits and the worship of the machine".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2019, with the headline 'Teachers should enrich life, not worship the machine'. Print Edition | Subscribe