Automation, refers to the idea that computers automate or mimic human thought. The term originates from Lev Manovich's 2001 book The Language of New Media. Automation is a consequence of Numerical representation and Modularity which render media able to be "programmed" and thus able to manipulated mathematically.
Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine
Alan Turing's Universal Turing Machine
Turing claimed "...the machine could perform any calculation which can be done by a human."
Vanner Bush's Memex Machine
Low vs High level automation
Manovich highlights two types of automation, low-level and high-level. Where low-level automation results in automated shortcuts to repetivie computer behavior, high-level automation results in "...meaning embedded in the objects being generated."
Examples of low-level automation
- auto-complete typing features
- batch edits in photoshop
- automatic browser updates
- Google alerts
Examples of high-level automation
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) engines and neural networks that simulate human intelligence and adaptive behavior in games
- The idea of a Semantic Web, defined by the development of an Internet network of machine readable communication structures enabling computers to find, locate and process information without the user's direct involvement
- The Semantic Web category from the What's New Media blog
- Ray Kurzweil: How technology's accelerating power will transform us from the TED Talks series