GC: n

CT: Automation is the creation of technology and its application in order to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services. It performs tasks that were previously performed by humans. Automation is being used in a number of areas such as manufacturing, transport, utilities, defense, facilities, operations and lately, information technology.

S: Techopedia - https://goo.gl/KbormR(external link) (last access: 5 December 2018)

N: 1. From 1948, in the manufacturing sense, coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder.
From adjective "automatic" ("self-acting, moving or acting on its own," 1812; automatical is from 1580s; automatous from 1640s), from Greek automatos of persons "acting of one's own will;" of things "self-moving, self-acting," used of the gates of Olympus and the tripods of Hephaestus, also "without apparent cause, by accident", from autos "self" + matos "thinking, animated," *men- "to think") and word-forming element "-ion" (attached to verbs, making nouns of state, condition, or action, from French -ion or directly from Latin -ionem, nominative -io, genitive -ionis, common suffix forming abstract nouns from verbs). Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.
2. Automation can be applied to four broad classes of functions: Information acquisition; information analysis; decision and action selection; and action implementation. Within each of these types, automation can be applied across a continuum of levels from low to high, i.e., from fully manual to fully automatic.
3. Machines, especially computers, are now capable of carrying out many functions that at one time could only be performed by humans. Machine execution of such functions, or automation, has also been extended to functions that humans do not wish to perform, or cannot perform as accurately or reliably as machines. Technical issues, how particular functions are automated, and the characteristics of the associated sensors, controls, and software, are major concerns in the development of automated systems. This is perhaps not surprising given the sophistication and ingenuity of design of many such systems (e.g., the automatic landing of a jumbo jet, or the docking of two spacecraft). The economic benefits that automation can provide, or are perceived to offer, also tend to focus public attention on the technical capabilities of automation.
4. The term has been used many different ways. The Oxford English Dictionary (1989) defines automation as:
  • 1) Automatic control of the manufacture of a product through a number of successive stages.
  • 2) the application of automatic control to any branch of industry or science.
  • 3) by extension, the use of electronic or mechanical devices to replace human labor.
The original use of the term implies automatic control (automatic having many alternative definitions suggesting reflexive action, spontaneity, and independence of outside sources). Automatic control can be open loop as well as closed loop, and can refer to electronic as well as mechanical action. Automation does not simply refer to modernization or technological innovation. For example, updating a computer with a more powerful system does not necessarily constitute automation, nor does the replacement of electrical cables with fiber optics.
5. Collocations:
- n: the automation of the plant, factory; plant automation; full automation; partial automation; job loss due to automation; lost her job to automation; losing jobs to automation; job losses due to increased automation; automation is replacing jobs;
automation to reduce, save on, cut costs; the automation of processes, construction, assembly; industrial, home, building automation; during the process of automation; workforce automation; automation in car, clothes, computer manufacturing;
the spread, rise, increase of automation.
- n as adj: automation solutions, software, methods, services.
6. Cultural Interrelation: We can mention The book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark.

S: 1. OED - https://goo.gl/WFhbyg;(external link) https://bit.ly/2QOG1ad;(external link) https://bit.ly/2Ut2OqX(external link) (last access: 9 December 2018). 2 to 4. DCIS - https://goo.gl/n4sVaG(external link) (last access: 5 December 2018). 5. WRefC - https://bit.ly/2L61eqH(external link) (last access: 9 December 2018). 6. GoogleB - https://goo.gl/ccBTuy(external link) (last access: 5 December 2018).


CR: automatic control engineering, automaton, building automation, cognition (EN), cognitive science, computer science, cybernetics, home automation, intelligent agent, intelligent system, office automation, robotics.


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