In the Beginning…

A John Henry statue stands above the Big Bend tunnel in Talcott, W.V., where many believe his competition against the machine originally took place. (WBUR, Creative Commons)

So, what exactly is automation?

The technique, or making of, an apparatus, a process or a system operate without immediate human intervention.

Automation: Pros vs. Cons

While John Henry was never convinced by automation, it has been historically common for societies to feel hesitant about automizing parts of what used to be manual labor. Moreover, in the corporate world, investing a significant amount of funds into technological upgrades that are not yet considered “necessary” was often too risky and time-consuming. With all the moving parts of new machinery, regular maintenance and learning curves had to be considered before a company could invest in any new technology.

The Ingersoll-Sergeant steam drill. (Wikimedia Commons)

Why would we want to remove the human touch?

  • To improve safety
  • To increase productivity
  • To improve and maintain quality
  • To reduce labor costs

Automation in the Digital Era allows:

  • Opportunities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Simultaneous completion of multiple tasks
  • Specialized jobs



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Andrew Gordon

Andrew Gordon

All things Automation, Tracking, and Technology.