Automation is the use of machinery, especially machinery which is operated by programmable software, to provide services or to produce or distribute products. Automation can replace workers, not only those engaged in simple manual work, but also those engaged in clerical or other intellectual tasks.
Thus automation can both free people from drudgery, but can also limit the amount of work available to people.
As of 2013 automated factories in the United States were becoming competitive with factories in the developing world which depend on low-wage workers.
Notes and references
- As a general rule it is better if people can avoid tedious repetitive work which offers no opportunity for creatively or development of skills, note by User:Fred Bauder
- "U.S. Textile Plants Return, With Floors Largely Empty of People" article by Stephanie Clifford in The New York Times September 19, 2013