Automation: How Much is Too Much?

Hancock, P. A. (2014). Automation: how much is too much?. Ergonomics, 57(3), 449-454.

The headlong rush to automate continues apace. The dominant question still remains whether we can automate, not whether we should automate. However, it is this latter question that is featured and considered explicitly here. The suggestion offered is that unlimited automation of all technical functions will eventually prove anathema to the fundamental quality of human life. Examples of tasks, pursuits and past-times that should potentially be excused from the automation imperative are discussed. This deliberation leads us back to the question of balance in the cooperation, coordination and potential conflict between humans and the machine they create.

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