Tag Archives: automation


Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

The robots came in the 1950s for all our jobs

The robots are coming have got nothing on the mid 20th century in terms of man being replaced by a machine.

One of my favourite scenes from Apollo 13 happens to be online. Tom Hanks and the Apollo 13 crew and ground control were using slide rules to make the critical calculations about re-entry trajectories. That had not been automated in 1969.

I went to high school just after slide rules were replaced by simple calculators.

I am reading some great essays from the 1960s at the moment about the great fear that people had from the computer entering the factory.

The reason for claiming that this time it was different was computed could automate calculations millions of times faster than people could. The computer could monitor and react to events without human intervention as Yale Brozen explained in the mid-60s

The hallmarks of automation, to distinguish it from mechanization or automatic
methods, are its sensing, feed-back, and self-adjusting characteristics. Because it senses changing requirements and adjusts without human intervention, it presumably does away with the need for human attendants or human labor. This is very fearful indeed to those who depend upon jobs for their livelihood.

There is nothing new about the coming of robots

The robot revolution is overrated

Robots will take my job alert: when musicians campaigned against the introduction of canned music into cinemas


HT: idiosyncraticwhisk and smithsonianmag