Could Joyal’s encyclopedic knowledge be encoded in software? Probably. But no one would make enough doing so to put a Rolls in the driveway. It’s just too small a category. The same is true of Claire Bustarret’s work. Johns Hopkins Magazine reports that Bustarret “has made a career out of knowing paper like other French people know wine.” Her ability to determine from a sheet’s texture, feel, and fibers when and where the paper was made is extremely valuable to historians and art authenticators. Maybe what she knows could be put in a database, and her analytical techniques could be automated. But in the meantime, she would have learned more.
Ashok Gudibandla, CEO at, notes, “Automation of business processes is of course constantly evolving. It requires alignment of people, processes, and technology. Each part is a challenge. We are experts at the last part, technology (software/systems/AI). The big challenge here is that with more and more systems (email, marketing, sales, customer service, payments) moving to the cloud, there is a fragmentation of data and processes, with each department using their own siloed tools. Automating processes across departments is a big challenge. 
The increased level of production is important to companies developing software for rapid (sometimes daily) release. Companies like Google automate testing to scale their software development process and release products that billions of users rely on daily. Google created new testing roles and job titles for their engineers when they realized the benefits of automated testing during their rapid growth. Their efforts resulted in higher quality, more reliable, and more frequently released software.
Where home automation becomes truly “smart” is in the Internet-enabled devices that attach to this network and control it. The classic control unit is the home computer, for which many of the earlier home automation systems were designed. Today’s home automation systems are more likely to distribute programming and monitoring control between a dedicated device in the home, like the control panel of a security system, and a user-friendly app interface that can be accessed via an Internet-enabled PC, smartphone or tablet.
Each industry has different business process automation needs, but BPA can improve every industry. Examples of industries that can benefit from BPA include sales, fire and security, higher education, K-12 education, digital education, state and local government, federal government, justice systems, contract management, case management, cement and building materials companies, and any corporate-level company.
No stranger to outdoor appliances, Sweden-based Husqvarna offers a variety of robot lawn mowers for yards of all shapes and sizes. We got our hands on the Automower 315X, a high-end, feature-packed model with a premium $1,999.95 price. The 315X works with a well-designed mobile app that lets you use your phone to start and stop the mower, monitor its progress, create schedules, and see where it's been on a map of your property. Its user-friendly programming options, outstanding cutting performance, and quiet operation earn it our Editors' Choice for robotic lawn mowers.
“I don’t understand why people would think it’s unethical,” Woodcock says. “You use various tools and forms of automation anyway; anyone who works with a computer is automating work.” He says if any of these coders had sat in front of the computer, manually inputting the data day after day, they’d never be reprimanded. But by demonstrating that they’re capable of higher levels of efficiency, some may, perversely, feel like they’re shirking a duty to the companies that employ them. This is perhaps why automating work can feel like cheating, and be treated as such by corporate policy. On Amazon Mechanical Turk, the tech company’s marketplace for microwork, automation is explicitly against its terms of service—and the gig workers like those on the platform, who labor for cents per task, could stand to benefit from automation most of all.
Let’s assume that computers are going to make their mark in your line of work. Indeed, let’s posit that software will soon perform most of the cognitive heavy lifting you do in your job and, as far as the essential day-to-day operation of the enterprise is concerned, make decisions as good as (probably better than) those made by 90% of the people who currently hold it. What should your strategy be to remain gainfully employed? From an augmentation perspective, people might renegotiate their relationship to machines and realign their contributions in five ways.
Automation is a real issue and challenge for labor conditions from industrial to white collar jobs. There are many benefits to find in it but it also might lead to a standardization of processes. I wrote on this subject if you want more information about how automation is changing the way we get productive.