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The Design of Future Things by Donald Norman

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CHAPTER FIVE

The Role ofAutomation

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Why do we need automation? Many technologists cite three major reasons: to eliminate the dull, the dangerous, and the dirty. It is difficult to argue with this answer, but many things are automated for other reasons—to simplify a complex task, to reduce the work force, to entertain—or simply because it can be done.

Even successful automation always comes at a price, for in the process of taking over one set of tasks, it invariably introduces a new set of issues. Automation often satisfactorily performs its task but adds an increased need for maintenance. Some automation exchanges the need for skilled laborers ...

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