“Our Automated Future”
By Michael Lee
Surprising as this may sound, nature is full of automatic processes, as will shortly be shown. And computers and mechanical devices are automating social processes on an ever-increasing scale, from assembly lines and the new 3-D printers to self-service devices like ATMs, kiosks and vending machines, from robots to computerized flight programs. As you read this, you may receive a pop up meeting reminder on your Outlook system or perhaps a message texted on your mobile phone indicating it’s time to submit your tax returns. That’s the efficiency of automation.
In addition, there’s the growing phenomenon of biomimicry, or designs imitating nature, with engineers, architects and designers developing an array of products originally inspired by nature’s long-evolved efficiencies which can be observed, modelled on computer programs and then reproduced. Given the extent of automation in nature, discussed below, the economic efficiencies gained by computerization and mechanization and the virtually infinite potential of computers to model and reproduce phenomenal designs in nature, the conclusion is becoming inescapable that our future will be more profoundly automated than we could have imagined.
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