Rise of the Machines: Automation has played a role in our lives for decades if not longer – especially in the area of manufacturing, where complex products like cars and home appliances are churned out by robotic arms on assembly lines; recently though, we’re becoming aware of how far it could go.
We use voice commands and artificial intelligence to navigate the internet. Self-driving cars, while far from perfect, are currently in circulation as are delivery drones. Automatic vacuum cleaners are roving carpets all over the world as homeowners put their feet up with beverage in hand.
In the early 19th century, textile workers in the UK began a movement to object to the introduction of new practices that would see their art dying out, with unskilled workers using large machinery to mass produce items previously made by skilled artisans.
These workers, known as “Luddites” after one of the early objectors, were made up of framework knitters, croppers, spinners and weavers who all saw the introduction of new technology as a threat to their skill and livelihood.