I had never heard of the term “automation” until reading the very insightful article “Automation on the Job” by Brian Hayes. Automation was the idea beginning in the 1950’s that at some point in the near future, automatic machines and computers would replace workers in all different kinds of fields and jobs thus leading to shorter work days and even weeks. Naturally there are two opposing sides to this which many authors wrote about and discussed. One side was concerned for the amount of leisure time that would arise for working people.
There would be four day weekends and only 15 hour work weeks, giving us too much time, almost more time off then someone needs. The opposing side disagrees by stating that having extra leisure time would simply give people more freedom to explore other pursuits of their own like traveling and reading more and having a more widespread education. I am in complete with two points made in this article: one, I think having more leisure time would be nothing but beneficial and two, I really thought by now, over a decade into the new millennium, there would be more automation than there is.
Perhaps it’s the over worked and constantly exhausted person I’ve become throughout college that makes me hope for extra leisure time, but I just don’t see how investing my time how I would like, for example reading my favorite novel would be in any way demeaning or negative. In fact I think I speak for most of the population when I say we are definitely over worked. Life is short as it is, spending more time with loved ones and enjoying the little things could benefit us in great ways. That goes along with my thought that the author of this article also states which is that by now I expected much more automation from work then there exists. Perhaps we are just moving at a slower pace toward it than expected but I certainly think it is imminent.